AWI has announced Marty Bower as the new AWI funded dog coordinator for South Australia to support and assist landholders and communities in South Australia to work together to combat wild dog attacks.
Australian Wool Innovation General Manager for Research Dr Jane Littlejohn explained AWI had partnered with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA, as the wild dog coordinator, Marty’s role.
“The position also aims to help coordinate on-ground wild dog control activities. This is vital but can be challenging for landholders without the external help provided by an independent coordinator,” Dr Littlejohn explained.
“The wild dog coordinator positions aim to help producers and other key stakeholders collaborate to reduce the impact of devastating livestock predation by wild dogs – and therefore improve on-farm productivity, rural community wellbeing and rural biodiversity.
“The coordinators use a nil-tenure landscape level approach with local communities to highlight the benefit of focusing on the issue and promote positive working relationships between private and public land managers.
“More importantly, it can have a beneficial impact on the emotional well-being of farmers in the area who now feel that something proactive is being done to address the constant financial and emotional impact of wild dogs.”
The program in South Australia has so far controlled 135 dogs across 32 properties since commencing in July 2018. Additionally, the trappers have undertaken 210 hours of training with land managers and their staff, to increase their capacity to control dogs on their properties.
Funding is available under AWI’s ‘Community Wild Dog Control Initiative’ to individual groups to undertake wild dog control activities and can be directed by groups to fill gaps they have identified in their control plans.
AWI is a not-for-profit company that invests in research and development (R&D), and marketing to increase the long-term profitability of Australian woolgrowers.
AWI is funded primarily through a wool levy paid by woolgrowers and a matching contribution from the Federal Government for eligible R&D activities that are capped at 0.5% of the value of gross national value of wool production.
AWI funds and co-funds wild dog coordinators in each Australian mainland state to help landholders and communities work together – locally and across shires – to combat wild dog attacks.
Marty is a South Australian local, having grown up in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa. After completing studies in natural resource management, he gained work experience in Tasmania, NSW and the Northern Territory, before returning to his native South Australia to take up the wild dog coordinator position.