Four Wheel Drive Victoria have been advised that an operation to control introduced pest animals in and adjacent to fire affected public land will commence from today Monday 10 February (weather permitting). 

This is an immediate response action under the Victorian Government’s biodiversity bushfire response program, to give native plants and animals the best chance of survival following the bushfires.

 The operation will initially take place in fire-affected areas in the Mount Buffalo National Park and the western side of the Alpine National Park and adjacent public land.  Additional areas will be prioritised following this initial operation.

 The aerial shooting operation will target large introduced herbivores – deer, feral goats, feral pigs - and introduced predators - foxes and feral cats - in priority areas to protect threatened plants and animals of most immediate concern from localised or species level extinction.

Pest herbivores reduce the ability of native plants to regrow after fire, spread weeds, compete for food and significantly damage native vegetation and critical habitat by grazing, trampling on vegetation, rubbing against trees and wallowing. Burnt landscapes provide less shelter for native animals, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to introduced pest predators who increase by five times the normal amount in fire-affected areas.

The operation will be carried out by highly qualified and experienced pilots and shooters under strict conditions, designed to ensure that it is safe, effective and humane.

The operation will only be delivered in areas of Parks Victoria and DELWP managed land which are already closed to the public, due to the fires.

For information on the Victorian Government’s biodiversity bushfire response plan please go to https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/home/biodiversity-bushfire-response-and-recovery

If you require further information please contact James Todd, Executive Director Biodiversity, DELWP on 0407 325 102.