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Publications archive - Biodiversity


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats

Biodiversity Group Environment Australia, 1999
ISBN 0 642 54634 7

Executive Summary

The feral goat is a generalist herbivore that can survive in many environments. It is found in all States and Territories except the Northern Territory and also survives on many Australian islands. It is most commonly found in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. There is evidence indicating that competition and land degradation due to feral goats is threatening some native species and ecological communities and for this reason 'competition and land degradation by feral goats' is listed as a Key Threatening Process under Schedule 3 of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (the Act). The Act requires the preparation and implementation of a threat abatement plan to nationally coordinate management of the impact of competition and land degradation by feral goats.

Eradication of feral goats on the mainland is not possible but there are effective methods for reducing feral goat numbers and impacts on wildlife in significant areas. This plan aims to reduce feral goat impacts on native wildlife over five years by:

The strategy advocated in the implementation and further development of this threat abatement plan involves the use of conventional methods to control feral goats in manageable areas critical to threatened species conservation. In implementing these controls close links will be established with species recovery plans, other threat abatement plans and with existing State programs. Animal welfare issues will be specifically addressed during the application of conventional control methods. Measures will also be implemented to ensure that feral goats do not become established in sensitive areas or on important islands that are currently feral goat free.

The five-year life of this plan is seen as consolidating and coordinating the long-term process of managing feral goat impacts on native flora and fauna. The main priority during this period is to support on-ground control programs necessary to ensure recovery of endangered species. The management of domestic goats will be dealt with separately through the development of a goat meat industry strategic plan. Such a strategic plan will need to take account of the fact that some domestic goats do have the capacity to become feral.

Feral goat control will have to continue for the foreseeable future and the costs of control can be significant. This plan therefore establishes a framework that will enable the best use of resources. The Commonwealth contribution to implementation of the plan will be delivered primarily through the programs of the Natural Heritage Trust.