Monitoring cameras have been set up in the picnic shelters on Boorabee and the Willows IPA on the Northern Tablelands following the rangers observations of feral goats utilising them as areas to congregate in the shade. The distribution and abundance of feral goats on the IPA is high and sometimes creative techniques are required in order to trap and remove them. Pest management consultant Brad Nesbitt has been working with the IPA rangers to establish a program aimed at reducing the numbers of feral goats on the property which will assist many native seedlings to naturally regenerate.
Recently the monitoring cameras were checked by IPA ranger Jayden Potter to see what has been recorded on the cameras. He found images of a Spotted-tailed Quoll which is listed as Vulnerable in NSW and Endangered under the EPBC Act on one of the cameras that was set up in a shelter near the Severn River Gorge. The Spotted-tailed Quoll has been picked up in traps around the gorge area during recent survey work, but this is the first time they have been detected by the monitoring cameras in other areas of the property.
The monitoring cameras have shown the IPA rangers that a group of feral goats have been using one of the picnic shelters constantly since the cameras have been deployed. They graze day and night and share the place with other animals such as kangaroos and feral pigs. An introduced black rat or Rattus rattus was also captured on that camera.
The deployment of the motion cameras has been a useful tool for the IPA rangers as they provide an insight into the presence and activities of target animals such as the goats and non target animals such as the Spotted-tailed Quoll. These patterns of activity will assist the rangers to develop and tailor the pest management program so that it is time and cost effective, targeting the pests where they are to be found. It also provides the rangers with a way of sharing with others some of the interesting animals on their IPA. In the words of Jayden Potter when describing how he felt:
Just sharing my excitement with you.
As a result of the information gained from the cameras the rangers will now set up an enclosure to trap the goats at the picnic shelter. By placing some more panels to completely close in the picnic shelter they believe it will make an effective trap to catch the goats as the animals are already comfortable using the place. We look forward to hearing more good news from the Boorabee and the Willows IPA rangers about their ongoing success in the coming months.
A Spotted-tailed Quoll caught on motion sensor camera entering a cage trap – the animal was a large male and was caught during recent opportunistic surveys along the Severn River Gorge, two other animals have been caught there during recent surveys including a female and juvenile indicating a potentially healthy breeding population. Rangers believe that the cessation of 1080 baiting has had a dramatic effect on the recovery of the species to the IPA.