Dingo v goat: One winner in island death match
In the ultimate survivor contest, a wild dog was fitted with a "suicide collar" in a controversial fatal face-off with feral intruders in a bid to stop them destroying a pristine, tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef. Here's how it went down.
In the ultimate survivor title contest, a wild dog fitted with a "suicide collar" is in a fatal face-off with a solo goat on a tropical Great Barrier Reef island.
Both animals are the last two standing after a controversial three-year feral pest project to cull about 300 destructive goats eating rare littoral rainforest on Pelorus Island, 80km north of Townsville.
Both are marked for death.
"The goats are gone," Hinchinbrook Shire mayor Ramon Jayo told The Sunday Mail.
"The wild dogs did their job. Vegetation is growing back on the island. It worked. End of story."
Cr Jayo was reluctant to talk because of threats and abuse over the council plan to stop goats ruining the island, slated for a luxury $15,000-a-night boutique getaway retreat.
Two desexed dingoes - surgically implanted with time-delayed poison pellets - were released in 2016 in a radical pest control program to exterminate a plague of goats on the 4sq km rocky island in the Great Palm Island Group, off Lucinda.
In what was hailed an environmental success, latest surveys show the apex predators killed off all but one goat.
Council rangers believe one of the wild dogs is also still alive.
The plan was the dogs would die after their work was done.
But it appears one dose failed to activate, officials say, and rangers are now hunting the survivor to humanely euthanise the animal.
Last year the council was recompensed $86,000 after a court overturned an interim order by Dr Miles to scrap the program and remove the dingoes.
"The much-maligned feral goat control project on Pelorus Island has been a success," read a report by the Hinchinbrook local marine advisory committee to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
"The goats that once plagued the island reserve have been culled.
"With the goats all but gone, the native vegetation is recovering exceptionally well and there has been no negative impact on native fauna."