In addition to the right of the local community to have a say on planning issues, another aspect of NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge’s recent visit to Bega was the regulation or lack of it, of recreational shooting in State Forests.
According to the NSW Greens policy on biodiversity (No.45) they support a wide range of community based biodiversity protection groups and at (No.36) want to ‘ . . . Set priorities for noxious plant and feral animal control under the NSW Biodiversity Strategy to ensure that ecologically based programs are being effectively implemented.’
In addition (N0.43) states ‘ . . . Ensure that shooting in National Parks and state forests is carried out only by employees of the NPWS, or those contracted to do so under NPWS supervision’
Over the past few weeks Forests NSW has been undertaking their 1080 poison fox and dog baiting program in Mumbulla SF. While demonstrating that recreational shooting is not part of FNSW’s control methods and local landholders are not invited to participate, the other issue is what do they know about these ‘feral’ animals to demonstrate the program is useful.
Of the two baiting locations I keep an eye on, along the ridge between the Murrah and Wapengo catchments in Mumbulla SF, one was burrowed into by some small critter within a couple of days, pic below. and the other was untouched after 2 weeks. However during the time I found fresh fox scat on the sand along the Murrah River, containing the remnants of a Bush Rat and another older one between the baiting locations with what appears to be the remnants of a Bandicoot.
Much like koalas, knowing where they are and how they live is a quite necessary when ‘managing’ any species and without this knowledge the term ‘random’ can be applied to the practice of baiting and shooting.