Protecting coastal ecosystems and cultural landscapes as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project.
Healthy Land and Water is providing support to enable QYAC to lead Pig Control activities on Mulgumpin while considering cultural landscape values and Traditional Owner aspirations for Country.
Quandamooka Traditional Owners – through the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) – in partnership with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) are delivering the Pig Control on Quandamooka Country Program, which is eradicating Mulgumpin’s feral pig population.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has been conducting pig control activities on Mulgumpin since 2000, but more recently QPWS rangers have been utilising a range of techniques to reduce the pig population including remotely controlled traps, live cameras and automated feeders.
First recorded in Queensland in around 1865, feral pigs have been present on Mulgumpin for over 100 years. The program is being rolled out across more than 600 hectares of Quandamooka Country to reduce and manage the island’s feral pig population, estimated to be between 20-40 pigs.
The collaboration between QYAC and QPWS has provided Quandamooka rangers with the opportunity to grow the knowledge and learnings around pig control techniques and technologies being used to implement the program. It has also created an environment where QPWS Rangers learn from the QYAC Rangers about sites of significance and Traditional lifeways.
Why this project is important
Invasive animal and plant species have had a significant impact on the Australian environment, damaging landscapes and supressing native species with widespread negative economic and cultural consequences.
Pigs were originally brought to Australia as livestock but as they escaped captivity, they rapidly established wild populations and spread out of control. Pigs are now one of Australia’s most widespread pests.
Feral pigs are a major pest that continue to cause serious damage to our biodiversity and ecosystems. Feral pigs also have a tremendous impact upon Australia’s biodiversity by spreading weeds and disease.
Pigs impact on delicate coastal ecosystems and cultural landscapes within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland by trampling, disturbing and compacting vegetation and soils.
The project is being delivered by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare program.
Action on the ground
Using wildlife cameras at three key feeding site locations on the island, pig movement is being carefully monitored. The cameras provide real time monitoring of wildlife and are powered by solar panels, allowing for long term deployment of stations, and resulting in lower maintenance requirements.
Rangers are utilising computer deep learning to identify feral animals on camera. Once pigs are detected at the feed stations, management actions can be developed and implemented.
Due to the distance of islands from the mainland, control programs like this have a greater chance of significantly reducing the pig population with a high possibility of eradication.
If pigs are successfully eradicated from Mulgumpin, this will result in a significant land mass within the Moreton Bay Ramsar site (approximately 18,600 hectares) being effectively free of feral pigs.