Abstract: Feral goats are a significant contributor to total grazing pressure in the Cobar district. The aim of this paper is to compare two methods of managing feral goats used on a Cobar district property, ‘Gilgunnia’, and their impact on groundcover and biomass. The two management methods discussed in this paper are a) harvesting feral goats by trapping watering points and b) a controlled situation using mesh-type fencing to eliminate all feral goats from that area. To assess the pasture biomass and the impacts of grazing, data was collected from four sites over a three-year period using the steppoint monitoring method together with clippings collected in 2010. Overall, the data shows an improvement in vegetation groundcover for both harvesting and the controlled area over the three-year period, although the rate and extent of groundcover improvement was significantly higher in the area under total grazing pressure control. The landholder believes the better results in the controlled situation are due to complete control of feral goats and the rotational grazing system in place. The results cannot be achieved without the use of mesh-type fencing, which is costly. However, the harvesting operation funds the development of the total grazing pressure control system. The two management systems on ‘Gilgunnia’ complement one another to achieve an ever-increasing area of high groundcover and good pasture biomass.
McMurtrie, A., Sandow, J., Theakston, P., 2010, A comparative analysis of two feral goat management methods commonly used in the Cobar district to restore native groundcover, Conference Paper, viewed 18 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3590.