Feral goats targeted in Western Australia to save local biodiversity22/04/2009 14:16:57 Goats targeted in Western Australia's Kalbarri National Park
April 2009. Feral goats infesting Kalbarri National Park have been targeted in a culling operation to protect fragile plant and animal communities in the unique Murchison Gorge system. A total of 380 goats were culled by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) over five days in March, a time of year when goats are concentrated along the Murchison Gorge and when visitor numbers are at seasonal lows.
Alien species have driven out native flora and fauna
Black footed rock wallaby
"Fox baiting is undertaken regularly in the park and the ongoing control of goats should permit the eventual return of rock-wallabies, as well as other fauna."
An aerial survey to be undertaken next August will provide an indication of goat numbers across the park and nearby properties. Mr Paxman said study sites have been fenced to exclude goats, and monitoring has confirmed that goats are having a significant impact on the park's vegetation.
"Goats remove palatable plants resulting in increases of spiny shrubs and they heavily graze regrowth," he said. "Their control will be a vital step in the process of rehabilitating the fauna and flora of Kalbarri National Park."