Roving Trapper Program

Education, Information and On-ground action against Wild Dogs and Deer in the North West

Roving Trapper Program

Education, Information and On-ground action against Wild Dogs and Deer in the North West

Collaborations -


The issue

Wild dogs and deer are an emerging threat in the North West of NSW.  With livestock losses on the rise from wild dogs and increasing numbers of deer sightings, more communication and networking is vital in order to carry out strategic landscape scale control programs.

Wild dogs are responsible for the loss of many native animals including quolls, brush turkeys, lyrebirds, quail, lizards and small macropods, with studies showing increased numbers of these species following successful wild dog control programs in the Tablelands Region.

Wild deer have flown under the radar, with many people not even realising they have a problem until the numbers are already in the hundreds.  Deer cause damage to natural waterways - turning springs into bog holes;  are very hard on vegetation - even knocking down young trees; compete with cattle on feed (some even bullying cattle off feed during the drought) and cause erosion due to their pointed hooves.

Pest animals cause economic, environmental and social impacts and it is important that communities work together in order to achieve effective control.

The solution

Whilst numbers of wild dog and deer in our region are climbing, in most areas people still aren't seeing them. Northern Slopes Landcare and North West Local Land Services partnered with Mark Lamb from Pest Lures to run a series of workshops to build awareness of the issues.  Participants learnt how to recognise early signs of dog and deer on their properties, as well as how to successfully track and bait dogs, and hunt deer.

Additionally, funds were set aside so that in the event of a report of stock being impacted by wild dogs, a professional trapper could be sent out straight away to remove the dog/s as quickly as possible in order to minimise stock losses.

The impact

Following the first report of sheep losses, the trapper was sent out and removed two dogs from the property within a week.  Further reports were also acted on quickly and efficiently.

Workshop attendees learnt tips on how to successfully trap and bait, including the following:

Some of the early signs of wild dogs will include goats and kangaroos suddenly disappearing from the landscape, and kangaroos floating in the dam

Baits should be replaced every five days and should be buried underground

Yes, NSW landholders ARE allowed to shoot deer, as are their staff and family members

Shooting is currently the only successful method of control for feral deer.

Key facts

  • Coordinated control programs for wild dog are the most effective as dogs can have a very large home range and won't only reside on one property.
  • Sambar deer are a newer threat, and are considered 14DSE - meaning they will consume the same amount of feed as fourteen sheep or one and a half cows. This species is extremely difficult to find and track.

Project Partners