Pest Animals


Pest animals are a threat to biodiversity and agriculture. They can impact our lifestyle and health, causing distress and anxiety. 

The average cost of rabbits, wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and other pests on the Australian agricultural industry is as high as $596 million per year. In NSW alone, the average cost is $151.5 million per year.

All land managers of private or public land are responsible for managing pest animals. 

Target pest species in the Byron Shire are:

  • Wild dog
  • European red fox
  • Feral cat
  • Indian myna
  • Cane toad
  • European rabbit

Emerging pest species in the Byron Shire are:

  • Feral goat
  • Feral pig
  • Feral deer

Local Biosecurity Alert Species:

Pest control options

  • Contact North Coast Local Land Services for advice, training and baits for dogs, cats, pigs and foxes.
  • Engage a professional trapper or shooter.
  • Do your own pest control.

Choosing the right control tool 

There are a variety of lethal and non-lethal tools available to control pest animals. Each tool varies in its effectiveness, depending on a range of factors specific to the location. The use of many control tools is also subject to various laws and regulations. Control tools include:

  • poison baits
  • soft jaw traps
  • shooting
  • fencing
  • guard animals
  • aversion techniques (such as lights, alarms, and flagging).

Advantages and disadvantages of control tools.

In most pest animal management situations a combination of management options is generally proven to be the most efficient, effective and cost-effective approach to managing the target pest animal species. 


FeralScan – is a free community website and smartphone App that allows you to map sightings of pest animals and record the problems they are causing in your local area.

Wild dogs

Call North Coast Local Land Services on 02 6623 3900 or Council's Biodiversity Officer on 02 6626 7324 to report sightings of pest animals, including wild dogs. This information is recorded to inform the management of pest animals in our Shire. 

Wild dog refers to any free-ranging dog, including feral dogs, dingoes and hybrids of the two.

Dingo conservation areas

To balance the need to control wild dogs with the conservation of dingoes, the North Coast Region Wild Dog Management Plan is in place for certain lands in the Shire, including:

• Mt Jerusalem
• Goonengerry
• Nightcap National Park 
• Whian Whian State Conservation Area.

Cane toads

  • Are poisonous at all stages of life from eggs to adultsToads have had a severe impact on snakes, lizards and other native animals that try to feed on them.
  • Can eat very large quantities of prey. They mainly eat insects including rainforest snails and ground beetles. A toad in Whian Whian was found to have eaten 24 rainforest snails and another juvenile toad had eaten 270 flying ants in one evening. Cane toads also occasionally eat vertebrates such as ground-nesting hatchlings and eggs, frogs and even small mammals.
  • Compete with native animals for food and habitat.
  • Are poisonous to pets if they are eaten. The poison may also affect humans and there have been reported eye injuries caused by a cane toad squirting poison.

What you can do to help control cane toads

There are a number of steps you can take to help control cane toads.

  • Toad-proof your dam or ponds
  • Learn how to identify toads correctly so you can catch toads and collect toad eggs on your own property
  • Join a toad muster group
  • Keep pet food and water out of reach of cane toads
  • Keep food scraps out of reach of cane toads
  • Plant native gardens rather than short mown lawns to deter toads which prefer short grass
  • Turn off outside lights when not in use as toads congregate under lamps to eat insects attracted to the light.