The Devil is in the Detail – Managing feral goat grazing at breeding sites for the endangered Malleefowl Leiopoa ocellata

The Devil is in the Detail – Managing feral goat grazing at breeding sites for the endangered Malleefowl Leiopoa ocellata Conference Paper

17th Australian Rangeland Society Biennial Conference

  • Author(s): Milton Lewis, Angus Arnott, Angela Higgins
  • Published: 2012
  • Publisher: Australian Rangeland Society

Abstract: Surveys by the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority have mapped the locations of isolated breeding groups of endangered Malleefowl Leipoa ocellata. These populations occur within highly specific mallee vegetation that are rare within the general mallee woodlands of the western Lachlan catchment. Direct browsing competition between goats Capra hircus and Malleefowl has created a difficult dilemma in balancing conservation outcomes and maintaining income for landholders. In addition to installing a network of 56 water point goat traps, the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority has developed a landscape scale fencing method of passively removing feral goats from critical breeding habitat. Vegetation monitoring sites indicate that removal of high density browsing has positive vegetation outcomes for maintaining critical Malleefowl breeding habitat. In the long-term this new innovative use of strategic fencing to create a system of controlled traffic to reduce the impact of goat grazing in habitats of high conservation value while reducing landholder management costs will make goats profitable under most financial situations yet promote biodiversity of fragile western habitats.

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Suggested Citation
Milton Lewis, Angus Arnott, Angela Higgins, 2012, The Devil is in the Detail – Managing feral goat grazing at breeding sites for the endangered Malleefowl Leiopoa ocellata, Conference Paper, viewed 15 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3655.

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