| Feral Donkeys in Australia
PEST STATUS - DISTRIBUTION - PEST CONTROL OPTIONS
Feral donkeys can damage native vegetation, contribute to soil erosion and compete with stock for pasture and water.
The feral donkey is most abundant in the arid regions of the Kimberley pastoral district of Western Australia and the Victoria River area of the Northern Territory.
Lower densities are found in the semi-arid regions and deserts of central and western Australia. Although absolute numbers are difficult to estimate, there are thought to be between 2 and 5 million feral donkeys in Australia.
Feral donkeys are both grazers and browsers and feed during the day on a wide variety of plants. They can subsist on coarser vegetation than horses and in the Kimberley region are attracted to perennial tussock grasslands.
Large mobs of up to 500 animals congregate on residual sources of water and favoured grazing areas during the dry season. During the wet season they disperse in groups of less than 30 individuals to take advantage of the abundant growth.
PEST CONTROL OPTIONS
Control methods include ground shooting and shooting from helicopters, sometimes aided by the use of a Judas animal, and also exclusion fencing.
Ground shooting is best suited to accessible and relatively flat areas where there are low numbers of problem donkeys.
Shooting from a helicopter is considered a more humane control method as mobile wounded animals can be promptly located and killed. It is also a more effective method of quickly reducing feral donkey populations.
Shooting can be a humane method of destroying feral donkeys when it is carried out by experienced, skilled shooters; the animal can be clearly seen and is within range; and, the correct firearm, ammunition and shot placement is used.
Feral Donkey Pest Control Guide PDF
Feral Donkeys Code of Practice
Feral Donkeys Australia - Wikipedia
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PEST STATUS - DISTRIBUTION - FERAL PEST CONTROL OPTIONS