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Wild Dog Trapper Training

Twenty five land managers from the Western Local Region have been trained to understand how wild dogs think in a bid to outsmart them as part of a workshop near Bourke this month.

The land managers attended four days of training in wild dog education and trapping, which was organised by the Ledknapper Wild Dog Action Group at Nulty Station, with the support of Local Land Services Western Region.

One of the major outcomes was that the participants gained practical skills in how to recognise signs of dog activity as well as how to implement effective trapping regimes.

Secretary of the Ledknapper Group, Liarne Mannix, said the training armed land managers with knowledge about the tools and equipment they need to tackle this growing problem in the western rangelands.

"The Ledknapper Group was formed in 2008 to address growing issues with wild dog predation on livestock and since then we've been active in training and education," Ms Mannix said.

The training was presented by wild dog educator and trainer Paul Billsborough, thanks to funding from Australian Wool Innovation's Stage 2 Community Wild Dog Control Initiative.

"Paul's passion and expertise about wild dog trapping made for an engaging and worthwhile experience," Ms Mannix said.

"He stressed that we should never underestimate the intelligence of wild dogs and explained how to take into account their enhanced senses of smell, sight and hearing when trying to outsmart them.

"His instruction was 'To catch a dog, you've got to be a dog…..you've got to think like them'.

"We all recognise that if we don't do something about our pest animal problem, we will end up like parts of Western Queensland where land holders have moved away from sheep but are experiencing impacts on cattle and are afraid they may have to move out of grazing altogether."

Phillip Ridge of Nulty Station said he volunteered to hold the training on his property in response to and increase wild dog activity on his property.

"There's growing evidence, including sensor camera footage, of wild dog action here and I believe we've got to do something, so sharing our knowledge and working together is a great start," Mr Ridge said.

All land holders at the training had anecdotal evidence of wild dogs in the area and agreed the problem was impacting on their livelihoods, with evidence of lower lamb marking rates and a reduction in the rangeland goat population.