ACT reserves to close during Spring vertebrate pest control program

Areas of the Murrumbidgee River Corridor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will be formally closed under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 from 15 September until 26 September 2023 while the ACT Government conducts a vertebrate pest control program.

Cotter Campground, Casuarina Sands, Blue Range Campground, Kambah Pool, Pine Island and Tharwa Sand Wash will remain open during this program.

Executive Branch Manager, ACT Parks and Conservation Service Stephen Alegria said the removal of vertebrate pest species such as pigs and deer is essential to protecting the ACT’s high value conservation areas and the grassy ecosystems and native threatened species within.

“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.

“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 for the duration of the program for public safety”, Mr Alegria said.

“Extensive safety precautions will be in place during these operations, including buffer zones, signage and sweeps prior to all operations. Community members should be aware that aircraft may be operating within the closed areas.

A unique feature of the Spring 2023 vertebrate pest program is the engagement and cooperation with various ACT’s rural lessees who have supported the ACT Government conducting control operations over their properties that are adjacent to conservation areas.

“I acknowledge and thank all rural lessees for the cooperation and willingness to allow the vertebrate pest control operations to be extended over private properties. These will ensure that these destructive pest animals are given no place to hide.

“In May this year we delivered a successful vertebrate pest control program removing 218 feral deer, 254 pigs and 57 goats from the Namadgi National Park, Lower Cotter Catchment, Molonglo River Reserve and Googong Foreshore.

“Animal welfare is a priority. All control activities are undertaken in accordance with best practice and humane control of feral animals,” said Mr Alegria.

Specific closures are detailed below:

  • 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

This project is supported and funded by the Australian Government through the ‘Supporting Communities Manage Pest Animals and Weeds’ program.

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