Are Australian pig hunters the nation's most effective environmentalists?

The Land pig image Feb 23, 24.jpg

Australian pig hunters could be removing an estimated one million pigs a month, according to data collected by the Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association. Picture supplied APDHA
 

The Land Newspaper, NSW
February 23 2024 - 5:00am


Australian pig hunters could be removing an estimated one million pigs a month from the nation's prime agricultural and environmental resources, according to indications of data collected from the first month of the Great Australian Pig Hunt.
The Australian Pig Doggers and Hunters Association launched the Great Australian Pig Hunt on January 1, and its national president, Inverell's Ned Makim, believes this trend could upend the pig management model in Australia.
He says the contribution made by pig hunting has never been effectively measured when managing this pressing environmental issue.
He added that the association is planning at least two more research projects this year to focus increased attention on a decades-old problem.
The Great Australian Pig Hunt's launch as an information-gathering project will provide more concrete figures on how many pigs are removed from the environment by hunters and the value the hunters generate as voluntary environmentalists.
"Our participants report 4655 pigs killed in January," Mr Makim said. "That represents an activity rate of 45.8 per cent of hunters removing an average of 19.8 pigs monthly."
He said about 20 pigs a month 'felt right' based on his 46 years of field experience.
"But what is surprising is what that represents when viewed through the prism of previous research."
The association's own Keeping Count study of pig hunter numbers indicated the lower level of pig hunter numbers Australia-wide is 121,102. If that participation mirrors those numbers from the hunt participants (45.8 pc), it suggests that there is an active rate of 55,465 hunters chasing porkers each month. That many hunters are removing 19.8 pigs each month amounts to 1,098,207 pigs.
"That's a lot of pigs," Mr Makim said. "It will be a very challenging figure for the pig management bureaucracy operating within a paradigm that ignores hunting as a means of pig control, and that's what the data says at this point.
"NSW DPI data based on a 2023 report on the contribution of hunting to the economy found that pig hunters spent an average of $1035.12 a month on their lifestyle.
"So 55,465 active hunters could have injected $57,412,930.80 in January in their pursuit of pigs. Surely that's worth something in the feral pig debate?" Mr Makim said.
Mr Makim conceded it was too early in the data collection exercise to draw too many solid conclusions, but there were indications that hunters appeared to be making a significant contribution to feral pig control with a net economic gain for the Australian taxpayer.
The Great Australian Pig Hunt will continue to collect data until December 31, 2024, with monthly updates on the participation rate of removing pigs and the economic activity generated.
The APDHA is also working with two other significant data collection projects to assist in building the mass of information about feral pigs, their genealogy and activity in the landscape.
One project will gather 10,000 tissue samples from hunted pigs, and a second, more intensive project will seek to answer a significant list of questions about each pig killed.

The ABC takes a look at our feral pig research plans

Click below to listen...

tmp-53.uploadWe are all for itMedia Release Aug 3, 2021

NSW hunters racking up big numbers-page-001

 

 

 

THE APDHA will submit an application to present at the 19th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference is being held on July 29 -August 1 2024 in Sydney, NSW. 
The application will need to align with the conference theme of "Translating Science into Effective Management”.
Applications close at 5 pm on Wednesday February 28. 
Pig hunters seek a spot on stage - 5th January 2024
THE APDHA will submit an application to present at the 19th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference is being held on July 29 -August 1 2024 in Sydney, NSW. The application will need to align with the conference theme of "Translating Science into Effective Management”. Applications close at 5 pm on Wednesday February 28.
Website: Conference details
For more information download this document