Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
Feral goats are both a pest and a resource in Australia. They are thought to compete with domestic livestock for food and water and endanger the survival of native flora and fauna. However, there is little quantitative information on the impact of feral goats on agricultural production or conservation values. Their presence on agricultural land is partly tolerated since they can be commercially harvested by mustering or trapping at water points. Where commercial harvesting is not possible, other control techniques must be used. Aerial shooting is the most commonly used technique to remove goats in inaccessible areas, but it is expensive. This paper reviews the status and impacts of feral goats in Australia. It then outlines some cost of control models that predict the cost of controlling goats at different densities using aerial shooting in inaccessible terrain in the semi-arid rangelands of Australia.