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Destructive invasive pests caught in record numbers

Efforts from Sunshine Coast Council and the community has resulted in a massive year of feral animal trapping in our region, protecting our environment by targeting pests like feral deer, foxes, Indian myna birds and more.

Destructive invasive pests caught in record numbers
Photo by Sunshine Coast Council Feral Animal Team

Invasive species are being trapped and removed in record numbers across the Sunshine Coast, in a united effort between Sunshine Coast Council and the community to protect our region’s biodiversity.

In 2023, Council’s team removed 335 feral deer from registered properties in the region, almost triple the previous record set in 2021.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said better technology and improving staff skillsets and teamwork meant feral deer could be detected and euthanised quickly.

“New and improved thermal scopes mean our team can work during the night without stressing the animal or dispersing the herd, all while improving safety to livestock,” Cr Cox said.

“We’ve also seen an increase in private properties registered for deer control activities in the past year, as more landholders recognise the safety and effectiveness of this control program.”

During the year Council staff removed 91 foxes through trapping across the region, alongside other fox control strategies including spring-activated baiting and den detection using conservation dogs.

Community key in battle against invasive myna

Meanwhile, community trapping contributed to 1315 Indian Myna Birds being removed from our environment.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said Indian Myna Birds were highly territorial and would out-compete our native species for food and nesting sites.

An Indian myna bird with black head, chocolate brown body, white spot on wings and yellow eye patch and legs.

An Indian myna bird with black head, chocolate brown body, white spot on wings and yellow eye patch and legs.

“These birds have invaded and become prolific throughout eastern Australia, and controlling populations in our region is only possible with strong community involvement,” Cr Suarez said.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped defend our region through community trapping, and I encourage those with Indian Myna birds active on their property to learn how to trap and euthanise this species to help restore their backyard’s biodiversity.

“When residents learn about invasive species and how to protect their place, the whole region can enjoy a stronger environment and biodiversity.”

Find out about our region’s invasive animals and how you can help on Council’s website.

Invasive animals on the Sunshine Coast

  • Feral deer impact agriculture, damage fragile habitats, spread disease and are a danger to road users.
  • Indian Myna Birds spread disease, are highly territorial and out-compete native birds for nesting hollows.
  • Foxes hunt native species and eat eggs of endangered Mary River, green and loggerhead turtles.
  • Wild dogs pose a danger to pets and prey on livestock and native animals.
  • Feral cats are opportunistic predators that hunt native species, small livestock and pets and can spread disease.
  • Feral pigs damage fragile habitats, prey on native species and livestock and threaten agriculture.
  • Rabbit sightings remain low in our region, but they have the potential to multiply rapidly to threaten native habitats and agriculture.

This article Destructive invasive pests caught in record numbers has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.