Cr Neil Fisher and Cr Ellen Smith near the pig trap on Mt Archer.
Cr Neil Fisher and Cr Ellen Smith near the pig trap on Mt Archer.

Youth ruin month of work to catch feral pigs

THANKS to the tampering of some youths, it is going to take at least another month to capture the wild pigs roaming and destroying Mount Archer.

Rockhampton region councillor Neil Fisher told The Morning Bulletin youths were caught on camera interfering with the pig trap installed in Fraser Park.

The pig trap enclosure was installed by council officers in September.

The way it works is feed is put in the trap, slowly getting the interest of the pigs. The pigs are monitored through CCTV and the food is slowly increased

It takes time for them to grow trust of a new food source and it is a slow process, particularly when they can get food from elsewhere. After several weeks when council officers are confident they can capture them, the gate is activated to be shut once the family of pigs are inside.

Having already done four weeks of legwork, council officers now have to start from scratch again as some youths shut the door and took ropes and chains off the gate at the pig enclosure.

Cr Fisher shared his frustration.

“I feel for the residents up here. They have had an annoying year, they have had bushfires they have had to deal with, then roadworks and then their little patch of Eden is now getting damaged by pigs and now the bloody idiots who come out and tamper with the traps,” he said.

“Now they have another four weeks of putting up with the full force of the pigs.”

An email was sent to residents in the Mt Archer area last week from Rockhampton Regional Council stating they were aware of feral pig activity in the summit area and they are working with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to manage the issue.

“Some measures implemented so far include establishment of feeding stations (with a view to trapping and/or baiting), and camera monitoring sites (to determine activity levels and patterns), and setting of traps for humane euthanasia of trapped pigs,” the letter said.

“Under Biosecurity legislation, 1080 baits may not be laid within 150m of residences.

There is a risk that pigs may consume, and later regurgitate 1080 baits, which may then be inadvertently consumed by a roaming domestic animal.

“Dense foliage cover in riparian areas provide good refuge for pigs, but also means that an aerial shooting program is not possible.

“Recreational hunting, including with dogs, is prohibited in QPWS managed areas of Mt Archer, under both the Forestry Act 1956 and Nature Conservation Act 1992.”

A trap has also been installed on Lakes Creek Rd for the feral deer with a second one nearing completion.

Councillor Ellen Smith said the sightings of the deer seemed to be less.

“Probably that little bit of rain might have coaxed them off the road but we are still working towards putting up those state of the art traps,” she said.