Feral deer and pig will be in the spotlight of rangers within the Bimberi Wilderness Area and western Namadgi National Park which will be closed for two weeks while a deer and pig control operation takes place.
Rangers from ACT Parks and Conservation Service will undertake the cull of feral deer and pig in the area via an aerial control program to help assist Namadgi’s ecosystem to recover from last year’s bushfires.
Bimberi Wilderness Area and western Namadgi National Park will be closed from midnight on Monday (3 May) until midnight on 14 May.
ACT’s Conservator of Flora and Fauna Ian Walker said the management of the area’s feral deer and pig population is required to protect the ecology of the surrounding environment which he said was still vulnerable after last year’s bushfires.
“Feral deer in Namadgi can damage our already endangered plant and animal species due to their grazing, antler rubbing, trampling, trail creation and wallowing,” Mr Walker said.
“They can also affect the areas that are key to the ACT’s water supply such as the Upper Cotter Catchment of Namadgi National Park.”
He said the closure of areas of Bimberi and Namadgi (below) was needed to ensure community safety. This includes Cotter Hut, Mt Namadgi and Square Rock.
“For over 15 months our teams have been hard at work to make sure Namadgi National Park is in the strongest position for recovery following the Orroral Valley bushfire,” Mr Walker said.
“Although we have made significant progress and have been able to open the park to visitors ahead of schedule, it is still in a vulnerable state.
“As responsible land managers, the government’s approach to bushfire recovery is to facilitate a natural regeneration of the park by managing threats from invasive plants and animals. It is important that threatened species and ecological communities can recover without being impacted by feral deer and pigs.
Mr Walker said the closure might affect people’s plans, but the deer and pig control program would help the park continue to recover.
“There are still many areas of Namadgi open during this time and I encourage the community to still get out and enjoy those areas,” he said.
“The community’s safety is our priority, which is why we have closed these areas. Our team will also implement extensive safety precautions during the aerial control program such as buffer zones and clear signage.”