Four Wheel Drive Victoria have been notified that the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and Parks Victoria have combined pig sightings with camera trapping, GPS tracking and thermal drone imagery to target the pest species across the Gippsland and Hume regions.
Over the past two years, hundreds of feral pigs have been detected on camera traps, with many eliminated through baiting, shooting, and trapping techniques.
Ongoing monitoring and baiting of feeders aims to significantly reduce the population of feral pigs within two years and eradicate smaller sub-populations.
DEECA Statewide Invasive Species Program Manager David Miralles said the Landscape Feral Pig Project, which is funded by the Victorian Government as part of the Protecting Biodiversity Program, is already producing positive results.
“Feral pigs can be difficult to control due to their nomadic nature, often travelling up to seven kilometres per night,” he said.
“They are also intelligent and highly adaptive, dispersing and travelling to new areas if disturbed or forced by environmental conditions such as fire or flooding.”
Parks Victoria Project Officer Evan Miller said a satellite collared “Judas pig” is being used to track how feral pigs move across the Alpine National Park.”
“Using the data on the Judas pig’s movements across the landscape provides the opportunity to undertake targeted control operations ensuring effective use of resources” Evan said.
“As part of our feral pig monitoring program, Parks Victoria actively use eDNA testing to assist in the detection of feral pigs across closed water catchments in our National Parks and reserves across Eastern Victoria.”
More than 120 sites across the Alpine and Snowy River National Parks have benefited from pig control covering more than 250,000 hectares of land.
Both Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and Moogji Aboriginal Council worked on the program, monitoring sites across Eastern Victoria.
Feral pigs are omnivorous and will eat almost anything they can lay their snouts on, including native wildlife species and their eggs. Pigs also trample native plants and cause havoc around waterways with their rooting and wallowing behaviour, destroying habitat for rare native species.
Evidence of feral pig damage and sightings reported by landholders and the local community helps identify the best locations for more extensive monitoring and control sites.
Diggings, scats, tracks, wallows, tree rubbings, and fence damage all give good indications of recent feral pig activity.
To report damage or sightings, phone DEECA on 136 186 or email