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25 Aug 2014

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Aerial Control of feral pigs for turtle protection on Wik Country

Project summary

This project forms part of a broader pest management program delivering on a strategy of integrated aerial and on-ground feral pig control measures involving shooting, trapping and baiting to reduce pig numbers to a target of 70 percent each year over an area of more than 820,000 hectares.

Control measures include aerial control of feral pigs by aerial shooting by expert marksmen trained in platform shooting. This project is an initial phase of an integrated pest management program to be undertaken in the land managed by Wik Projects.

Reduction of feral pig numbers in the coastal region is one measure to reduce the pressure on breeding populations of the locally endangered Olive Ridley turtles whose nests are predated by pigs. In some areas predation rates of 100% have been recorded.

Archer River wetlands area is an environment of major ecological significance centred on the Archer, Love, Kirk and Kendell Rivers on the Western coast of Cape York Peninsula. The wetlands are five times larger than those of World Heritage-listed Kakadu wetlands.

Covering 1.1 million hectares (or 8% of Cape York) it contains coastal wetland habitats in western Cape York Peninsula of global significance and supports an abundant wetland flora and fauna. It is one of the most important dry season refuge and breeding area for waterbirds on The Cape, and 25% of the area is classified as being of very high wilderness value.

The Indigenous cultural heritage of the area is rich, and grounded in the ancient traditions and connections to Country of the Wik, Wik Waya and Kugu traditional owners.

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