ABOVE: ReconEco consultants Craig Faulkner and Andy Marson taking a break from searching for feral pigs at Bungawalbin. Photo: Susanna Freymark
Andy Marson and Craig Faulkner are at a property at Bungawalbin searching out feral pigs.
They use sweetcorn and molasses to lure the pigs out.
“It’s like chocolate for us,” Craig said.
As consultants working for ReconEco, an environment consultancy firm based in Lismore, the men are working with the Envite team at Jimmy Malecki’s place, as part of a post-bushfire program to restore the land.
Feral animals are Craig and Andy’s expertise from pigs to foxes, dogs and cats.
They are targeting wild pigs to protect the coastal emu.
“Pigs eat the eggs and disturb the nest,” Andy said.
“They prey on the young if they have half a chance.”
The pigs run in mobs and do a lot of damage, Craig said.
The men trap the pigs by free-feeding them.
“If we do alright, they keep coming back,” Craig said.
That’s where the corn and molasses come in.
The problem at Bungawalbin is that it has a rich source of natural food which makes it more difficult to entice the feral pigs into the traps.
“Control of pigs is not easy,” Craig said.
“We do a recky to determine the pig hotspots.”
Our work is around protecting threatened species, he said.
Less pigs, more coastal emus is the goal.