Poison drop for key catchment
Conservationists are concerned about NSW Government plans to drop 1080 poison baits in the Sydney water catchment area.
The New South Wales government is preparing to drop poisoned animal baits to protect vulnerable native animals.
The government hopes that the bait will be eaten by foxes and dingoes after being scattered across parts of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, including within the Warragamba Special Area.
This part of Sydney's main drinking water catchment is considered so important, public access is restricted.
Reports say the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) originally wanted to bait even more protected areas, but shied away from this due to its fear of public backlash.
However, Dr Kylie Cairns, a geneticist specialising in dingo research at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), says dingoes play a vital role as Australia's land-based apex predator, and must be protected.
“If you have the apex predator being controlled in such a manner, you could be disturbing or impacting negatively on the natural environment in that area,” she told the ABC.
Dr Cairns says baiting is usually to reduce the loss of livestock in agricultural areas, so it is
“shocking” that it will occur 10 kilometres inside the world heritage area.
“You have to ask, is that really balancing the need to conserve dingoes in their environment … with the impact that they might be doing to livestock operations on the outside of the park?”
There are strong concerns about the humaneness of the technique, as the animals that ingest it appear to die painful deaths.
There is also no solid way to prevent the poisons from affecting protected native animals.