The term 'pest animal' refers to any exotic animal, which causes a detrimental impact on the environment, industry or community activities.
Pest species may come from any animal group including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and insects.
Cost of pest animals
Pest animals cause a wide range of environmental, economic and social impacts.
Recent figures indicate that pest animals cost the Australian economy more than $720 million dollars per annum.
- Feral pigs cost Australian agriculture in excess of $100 million a year
- Wild dogs cost the Queensland economy approx. $33 million a year
Declared animals are those animals, which have been declared Class 1 or Class 2 under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Routes) Management Act 2002.
Declaration places the legal responsibility for the management of pest animals on the landowner.
Class 1 declared animals are exotic animal species that have not been established in Queensland. The management goal for these species is to eradicate any infestation found throughout the state to prevent their establishment. Examples of Class 1 declared animals include:
Class 2 declared animals are animal species that have generally been established throughout Queensland however, have been identified as requiring some form of control due to the threat to biodiversity, health & safety and/or for economic reasons.
The most commonly recognised Class 2 declared animals includes:
- Wild dogs
- Feral cats
- Feral pigs
- Feral goats
Management of these pests is based on population reduction with a goal to reduce their impact.
Non-declared pest animals are exotic animal species that have been identified as causing an impact however, for a number of reasons, have not been declared.
This may be due to the fact that they are already widespread and/or because there are no effective control mechanisms available and/or it is not economically feasible to carry out control.
Two current examples:
- Common myna bird
- Cane toad
Both of these animals have an impact on the environment but unfortunately no effective control method currently exists.
While there is no legal requirement to control these non-declared animal pests, efforts into research, development, biological control and trials are being undertaken to address these difficult species.
High priority pests
Throughout Moreton Bay Regional Council, large tracts of bushland, State Forests, National Parks and associated wildlife corridors adjacent to semi-urban and rural residential area have lead to increased conflict between landowners and pest animals.
With increases in human population, conflict with pest animals has also increased.
This conflict brings many challenges to pest management. Many residents have a limited understanding of bushland areas, pest animal habits, habitats and the management techniques in place to address conflicts.
Residents may unwittingly create local issues by:
- Failing to keep domestic pets secure in residential properties
- Engaging in feeding ‘wild’ animals
Both of these circumstances impacts on the management of pest animals and contributes to public concern over the effects of pest animals on human health, the safety of children and the environment.
What Council is doing
Council recognises the impact pest animals have on residents and the environment and fully understand the complexity of pest animal control.
To assist landowners in fulfilling their legislative obligations and reduce the impact of animal pests throughout the region, Moreton Bay Regional Council maintains a cooperative approach to pest management.
Full time Pest Animal Management Officers work in cooperation with landowners throughout the region to reduce the impact of major pest species.
Council officers coordinate and implement management operations using best practice methods including the mapping of pest animal activity, monitoring the incidence of their impact and the removal of pest animals from the environment.