This project forms part of a broader pest management program delivering a strategy of integrated aerial and on-ground feral pig control measures involving shooting, trapping and baiting. The aim of the project is the reduction of pig numbers to a target of 70 percent each year over an area of more than 820,000 hectares.
Control measures to be undertaken by the Pormpuraaw Land and Sea Rangers include aerial and ground shooting, and where required, trapping and baiting. Expert marksmen trained in platform shooting will carry out aerial shooting and licensed shooters trained specifically for on-ground marksmenship, will carry out ground shooting.
Specific site baiting and trapping is to be conducted at selected sites, when required.
Monitoring of live pig numbers and kills is to be done through aerial surveyance, using spotters. The methodology includes estimation of numbers of pigs in each drove as air-sited from a helicopter; estimated animal numbers shot and bullets spent; time in air and timelines incurred, including date, day, weather conditions, GPS points and coodinates of tracks.
Where possible ground monitoring is to provide data relating to scats, tracks, diggings and turtle eggs predated at each nest.
Appropriate data sequences will be developed through this project, with baseline data collected to measure change over time.
Rangers are having fantastic success protecting the nests of nationally endangered olive ridely turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) along beaches managed by the Pormpuraaw Land and Sea program.