13 September 2023

Spring pest control program closes parts of Territory's nature reserves

| Claire Fenwicke
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view of Tidbinbilla and Brindabella areas

Sections of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will be closed as part of the pest program targeting feral deer, pigs and goats. Photo: Region.

Parts of the Murrumbidgee River Corridor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will be closed for a vertebrate pest control program.

Pest species such as pigs and deer will be targeted between September 15 and September 26 in these areas. But Cotter Campground, Casuarina Sands, Blue Range Campground, Kambah Pool, Pine Island and Tharwa Sand Wash won’t be impacted.

ACT Parks and Conservation Service executive branch manager Stephen Alegria said removing such pests was essential to protect the Territory’s grassy ecosytems and native threatened species found within the high-value conservation areas.

“Vertebrate pest species, such as pigs and deer, endanger threatened plant and animal species through grazing, antler rubbing, trampling, trail creation, ground disturbance and wallowing,” he said.

“To minimise their negative impacts on environmental, cultural, social and economic assets, we use a helicopter to support control methods to effectively and humanely remove vertebrate pests from our conservation areas.”

All closed areas will be signposted and access gates locked. The community is urged to take notice of the warning signs.

“Extensive safety precautions will be in place during these operations, including buffer zones, signage and sweeps prior to all operations,” Mr Alegria said.

“Community members should be aware that aircraft may be operating within the closed areas.”

The program was previously run in May when 218 feral deer, 254 pigs and 57 goats were removed from the Namadgi National Park, Lower Cotter Catchment, Molonglo River Reserve and Googong Foreshore.

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The government is engaging and cooperating with rural lessees during this spring vertebrate program to allow pest control to occur on private properties.

Mr Alegria said this ensured the pest animals would have “no place to hide”.

“All control activities are undertaken in accordance with best practice and humane control of feral animals,” he said.

“Animal welfare is a priority.”

The reserves have been closed under the Nature Conservation Act 2014.

The specific closures are:

  • Sherwood Special Purpose Reserve: 16 – 22 September
  • Swamp Creek Nature Reserve: 16 – 22 September
  • Stony Creek Nature Reserve: 16 – 22 September
  • Bullen Range Nature Reserve: 16 – 26 September
  • Gigerline Nature Reserve: 16 – 26 September
  • Rob Roy Nature Reserve: 16 – 26 September
  • Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve: 19 – 20 September

For more information on vertebrate pest management, visit ACT Environment.

For more information on closures or to find out about parks and reserves in your area, visit ACT Parks.

Information about potential trespassing can be reported to Access Canberra on 13 22 81. Information can be provided anonymously.

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