In early March, AWC’s Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary in Central Australia hosted the second annual ‘Cat Camp’, a collaborative workshop focused on various methods of feral cat control. Feral cats pose a major threat to native mammals, and have driven many species to extinction.Read more...
Feral herbivore control at Newhaven
Feral camels are the only large feral herbivore on Newhaven which requires a dedicated management response. The population of feral horses and donkeys is effectively zero.
Feral camels graze preferentially, threatening a number of native plants on Newhaven such as the Wild Plum (Santalum lanceolatum) and Supplejack (Ventilago viminalis). During dryer periods herds of camels congregate at watering points grazing and browsing heavily on the surrounding vegetation. During these times also, valuable water resources that would otherwise be available to native fauna is depleted across the landscape.
The dispersion and an index of abundance of camels on Newhaven are estimated from annual tracking surveys (see Science: Surveys and Research).
AWC’s camel control program involves annual ground based and aerial culling programs. Between 2009 and 2013, our camel control was conducted in collaboration with the Federal Governments Feral Camel Management Project. In the last 5 years, 2,086 camels have been culled on Newhaven.
Rabbits are also a major threat to the ecosystem health of Newhaven. In 2013, a major project to map rabbit distribution and density across the property was undertaken. Control measures will include a combination of activities including destroying rabbit warrens.