Council has strategies for the control of pest animals in the Townsville area. Below is a summary of the most common declared and non-declared pest animals in Townsville. Please see the Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan for more information on the management strategies for declared pest animals in Townsville.
Dingoes / wild dogs (declared class 2 pest)
Dogs, wild dogs, feral dogs and dingoes: what's the difference?
Wild dogs are all dogs that are not domesticated including dingoes, feral dogs and hybrids/crosses between the two.
Dingoes are native Australian dogs believed to have migrated from South-East Asia about 5000 years ago, and have had a lasting natural impact on Australian native animals.
Dingoes are not easily distinguished from domestic dogs. They can be identified only by detailed skull measurements and relative tooth size, and by their genetic makeup. They:
- Are usually ginger and yellow with white feet and chest
- May be pure white, ginger, black and tan, or pure black, and
- Breed only once a year, in early winter.
Feral dogs are abandoned or strayed domestic dogs living in a wild state in the bush or in an urban environment.
Domestic dogs are all dogs bred and kept as pets, guard dogs or working dogs. They may also behave like wild dogs if they are free roaming and not adequately controlled.
Dingoes and wild dogs are declared pests under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep, or sell them, and their numbers should be reduced. Legally, the primary responsibility for wild dog control lies with landholders however, in built-up areas, local government may help coordinate control programs.
- Numbers of wild dogs may have increased due to the increased availability of water on farms, the consequent increase in potential prey such as native animal species, livestock and rabbits and the increased availability of food associated with human settlement.
- In rural areas, they can reduce the viability of sheep, goat, and cattle farming.
- They can be a hazard to livestock, poultry, pets and humans in boundary areas between urban and rural environments.
- They can carry both canine and human diseases, including distemper, neospora, canine parvovirus and hydatid worms.
There is no solid evidence to suggest that pure dingoes, feral dogs or a cross between the two occur in Townsville. If you see what appears to be a feral dog, it is more likely to be a dingo hybrid or of dingo origin. In most cases, Council treats all problem animals in Townsville as wild dogs .
Townsville City Council has a Wild Dog Management Strategy for managing the extent and impacts of wild dogs. This strategy specifies priorities for action in the management of dingoes and wild dogs in the urban and rural areas in Townsville.
For further information on dingoes/wild dogs, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Feral pigs (declared class 2 pest)
Feral pigs are a declared class 2 pest animal under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and a high priority for control under the Townsville Local Government Area Pest Management Plan. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep, or sell them and their numbers should be reduced. Strategic actions in the Pest Management Plan to contain feral pigs include trapping and baiting.
For further information and fact sheets on feral pigs, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Rabbits (declared class 2 pest)
European rabbits are a declared class 2 pest under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and a medium priority for control under Townsville's Pest Management Plan. Therefore it is illegal to introduce, keep, or sell them and their numbers should be reduced
Rabbits are not permitted to be kept by residents in Queensland. Certain organisations are permitted to keep rabbits, but this is regulated by Biosecurity Queensland. Contact should be made with them directly through their website or on 13 25 23.
For further information and fact sheets on rabbits, visit the Biosecurity Queensland website.
Wild peafowl (peacocks) are found on Mount Stuart and Magnetic Island. They exclude native animals and bird life, create noise disturbances and traffic hazards and can hassle visitors consuming food in the area (Mount Stuart). Council is liaising with landholders to remove wild peafowl from their properties and advising other landholders on their obligations for keeping maximum numbers of domestic peafowl.
For further information, download the Peafowl Fact Sheet (595kB).
There are a number of species of fish in Townsville's waterways that compete with native fish for resources and threaten the natural ecosystem of our rivers. Please read the Declared Pest Fish Fact Sheet for information on declared noxious fish present in Townsville waters and advice on what your obligations are if you catch one when fishing.
Council does not provide a service for ant control. Information can be sourced from the following websites:
Indian Myna Bird
The Indian Myna Acridotheres tristis is a bird native to India, Asia and the Middle East. It was introduced to Australia in the 1860’s and has established as an invasive species in suitable habitat along much of Australia’s east coast. The Indian Myna reduces biodiversity, impacts agriculture and has the potential to affect human and animal health through disease transmission. To find out more about the Indian Myna and the impacts it causes, download the QLD Gov. Fact Sheet or you can visit the Indian Myna Bird Control Project’s website.
A local Indian Myna Bird Control Project has also been initiated. For information on this project and Indian Myna Bird Trap, please contact Ross Valley Lions Club on the following details:
Ross Valley Lions Club
Mobile: 0417 747 589
For more information, please phone 1300 878 001 or contact Integrated Sustainability Services.