Publications archive - Biodiversity
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Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004
Populations of feral goats are now found in every state and territory of Australia with the exception of the Northern Territory and, in addition, are also found on a number of offshore islands and territories. The largest and most persistent populations of feral goats are found in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
The widespread distribution, large population numbers, ability to rapidly increase in numbers, dietary preferences and difficulty to manage combined with the fragile nature of much of the country in which they are found has meant that competition from, and land degradation by, feral goats is threatening some ecological communities and certain native fauna and flora species. These reasons led to 'Competition and land degradation from feral goats' being identified as a Key Threatening Process under Schedule 3 of the Commonwealth's former Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (now listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999). In addition to impacts on the natural environment the feral goat is also a competitor to managed livestock enterprises for forage and water, particularly in drier times.
A number of specific control techniques have been developed for the management of feral goat populations. This report is concerned with one of the techniques — the trapping of feral goats at water-points. This technique seeks to take advantage of the feral goats need to access free water, particularly during dry times and the limited way that natural and artificial water-points are distributed throughout the feral goats range in the arid and semi-arid rangelands where it is most effective.