Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Planning and conducting aerial culling operations for feral camels.

Abstract

This paper describes the application of aerial culling to the management of feral camels during the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. It covers the following: key challenges involved, guiding principles, enabling factors which facilitated the application of aerial culling, the planning and implementation of actual culling operations, feedback loops, and the key operational achievements of the aerial culling program. Animal welfare was a key consideration under the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. Accordingly, aerial culling was applied in accordance with endorsed jurisdictional Standard Operating Procedures and animal welfare outcomes were formally and independently assessed during the project. Aerial culling was undertaken over an area totalling ∼685 000 km2 focusing on the environmental assets identified for the project. In total, 57 aerial culling operations were undertaken resulting in the removal of ∼136 000 feral camels, which represented nearly 84% of the total number removed during the project.