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Cape York turtle alliance gets the nod for Action Plan

The Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance (WCTTAA) has been selected as one of six demonstration sites across the country as part of the delivery of the National Feral Pig Action Plan. 

WCTTAA, which is supported by Cape York Natural Resource Management, has been protecting and monitoring turtle populations, including the threatened Olive Ridley species, for more than six years and is one of the most successful programs in Australia.

“This is a great development for us,” Cape York NRM Biodiversity and Fire Manager and WCTTAA Coordinator Kerri Woodcock said. “The Alliance, which includes five Indigenous Ranger Groups and growing, has been tackling the feral pig issue from the get go. As well as the aerial culling and on-ground work, Rangers have developed innovative techniques such as the use of design-specific aluminium cages that are put over the turtle nests to protect them from feral pigs - the most serious threat to turtle nesting populations.”

“Our knowledge and database on turtle populations and on feral pig control is growing with each year, but there is always more to learn, so it’s great to be a part of this group of demonstration sites.”

The National Feral Pig Action Plan is the first of its kind in the country and aims to facilitate national coordination of feral pig management and control and raise awareness of feral pig issues. Its vision is to actively suppress or eradicate (where feasible), feral pig populations to reduce their impacts on Australia’s environmental, agricultural, cultural and social assets.

The demonstration sites include: 

  • Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (QLD)
  • Western Cape  Turtle Threat  Abatement  Alliance and  Catchment to  Coral Program (QLD)
  • Whitsunday Regional Management Program (QLD) 
  • Western Riverina Pest Program (NSW)
  • Kangaroo Island Feral Pig Eradication Program (SA)
  • Midwest Feral Pig Demonstration Site (WA)

Feral pigs were brought from Europe to Australia by the First Fleet in 1788. Imported as livestock, pigs soon escaped and established wild populations that have expanded over time. Feral pigs spread weeds, degrade soil and water, prey on native species, damage crops and livestock, and carry diseases.

Feral pigs cause extensive damage to natural habitats by turning over vast areas of soil when rooting for food. They also wallow and foul up water sources, trample and consume native vegetation and facilitate the spread of weeds and Phytophthora.

“Feral pigs are one of the most destructive invasive species in Australia, with an estimated national population of up to 24 million, spread across 45 per cent of the country or some 3.43 million square kilometres,” National Feral Pig Management Coordinator Dr Heather Channon said.

Feral pigs pose a significant threat to Australia’s $65 billion agricultural industry, destroying crops and pastures, spreading weeds and disease, and preying on livestock.

For more information about the Action Plan visit: