Daintree Rainforest Camera Trap Project

As a part of its long-term Daintree Rainforest Camera Trap Project, 2023 accrued 1,696-cassowary sightings, 992-dingoes and 3,562-feral-pigs.  In terms of cumulative monthly averages, cassowary numbers increased by 29% to 109, dingo numbers grew by 105% to 40 and feral-pigs also increased by 90% to 156 sightings per month.  In comparison with 2022, cassowary numbers increased by 8%, whereas dingo sightings soared by 368% and feral-pigs also skyrocketed by 384%.

Population sightings across 2023:

Daintree Rainforest 2022 Camera Traps

2023 revealed a clear and substantive increase number of feral-pig sightings within the World Heritage habitat of Endangered Cassowaries and Australian Dingoes.  On a recurring point of principle and as has been previously noted, feral-pig sightings were at their lowest when dingo sightings were at their highest.

Overlay of population sightings between 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023:

Daintree Rainforest 2023 Camera Traps

From the relative uniformity of sightings throughout 2020, 2021 & 2022, 2023 stands apart as the year that feral-pig sightings significantly increased, despite the fact that it is unlawful for any person, without a reasonable excuse, to allow feral-pigs to remain at any place in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Overlay of cassowary sightings between 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023:

Daintree Rainforest 2023 Camera Traps

Overlay of dingo sightings between 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023:

Daintree Rainforest 2023 Camera Traps

Overlay of feral-pig sightings between 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023:

Daintree Rainforest 2023 Camera Traps

2023 – Cassowary Reel

2023 – Dingo Reel

2023 – Feral-pig Reel

Intergovernmental response to feral-pig proliferation

The National Feral-pig Management Coordinator position, based with Australian Pork Limited and funded through the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment, was created off the back of the purportedly successful National Wild Dog Action Plan, which is now currently in its fourth iteration, since first being instigated by Wool Producers Australia in 2014.

As it is illegal in all states and territories, to feed, transport, release or facilitate establishment or persistence of feral-pig populations, a National Feral Pig Action Plan has been established, with governance managed through the National Feral Pig Action Plan Implementation Committee.  In terms of controlling feral-pigs, regulatory agencies have admitted difficulty enforcing biosecurity responsibilities onto non-compliant landholders, whilst private land-managers have expressed the view that public-lands are the source of the feral-pig problem.  Meanwhile, feral-pigs are thriving under the unintended blanket of legislative protection within World Heritage Areas and National Parks and the most irreplaceable World Heritage inhabitants with the most critically important ecological values, are being usurped by feral-pigs .

Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd has been registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and successfully entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations.  Donations made to the Daintree Rainforest Fund support the Daintree Rainforest community custodianship and are eligible for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

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