As a part of its long-term Daintree Rainforest Camera Trap Project, 2021 accrued 1210-cassowary sightings, 225-dingoes and 1,543-feral-pigs. In comparison with 2020, cassowary numbers increased by 55%, dingoes decreased by 44% and feral-pig sightings rose by a mere 6%. The significant increase in cassowary numbers is primarily due to the far greater number of surviving chicks (9:1) and the much reduced number of dingo sightings, which also undoubtedly contributed to increased piglet-numbers for 2021.
Population sightings across 2021:
Population sightings across 2020:
Overlay of population sightings between 2020 & 2021:
2021 – Cassowary Reel
2021 – Dingo Reel
2021 – Feral-pig Reel
Official contention that the impact of feral pigs upon Daintree rainforest dynamics is weak, was strenuously countered:
In their relentless search for protein, an estimated 60,000-feral-pigs within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) dig for earth-worms across twelve-hours of every day, devastating the integrity of this highly-refined root structure and allowing massive quantities of rainforest product to be lost from these gaping wounds of broad-scale feral-pig disturbance. From the tip of Cape York down to Bundaberg and across the eastern-expanse of the Great Dividing Range, the relentless excavations of an estimated six-million feral-pigs ensures that the Great Barrier Reef is continuously polluted by soil deposition. Feral-boars force male cassowaries off their nests to devour the eggs and feral-pig droves predate upon juvenile cassowaries. Feral-pigs also attract pig-hunters, with their menacing pig-dogs, which are often released illegally into WTWHA rainforest causing carnage across the rainforest estate with casualties beyond feral-pigs.
Queensland’s statutory requirement that all landholders (except the State) must ‘control’ dingoes, which are declared as ‘wild dogs’ the instant they exit Protected Areas, was also challenged:
Dingoes are the major native predator of feral-pigs within the WTWHA rainforest. Estuarine Crocodiles also predate upon feral-pigs, but only in and adjacent to estuarine watercourses. Dingoes predate across the full expanse of the terrestrial landscape, but Queensland dingoes are only dingoes in Protected Areas and when they exit into adjoining tenures they instantly become ‘wild-dogs’, requiring lethal land-holder control, by shooting, trapping, fencing, baiting and livestock guardian dogs combined with land management.