News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Cooperation sought from pig hunters

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is working with local communities to raise awareness that pig hunting in national parks, conservation parks and nature reserves is illegal.

Targeted areas include the Benger Swamp Nature Reserve, north-east of Bunbury, where Parks and Wildlife officers have found damage to gates, fences and habitat from illegal hunting activities.

Parks and Wildlife officer Pia Courtis said the 580ha Benger Swamp nature reserve contained the seasonal wetland Benger Swamp, which was listed in the Directory of important wetlands in Australia and was used by a wide range of waterbird species as a breeding, feeding and refuge site.

“Benger Swamp Nature Reserve is the only location on the Swan Coastal Plain known to support the critically endangered Australasian Bittern and is one of only seven known breeding sites in south-western Australia for freckled ducks,” she said.

“In recent times we have noticed that the reserve is being illegally accessed by pig hunters and their dogs, and these activities have significantly impacted on the reserve, putting at risk the conservation values of the area.

“The department is working with neighbours and the community to combat the unauthorised access and damage done to habitat and tracks.

“This resulted in a recent successful prosecution and a $300 fine against a local man found in the reserve with dogs, who was hunting pigs without authority.”

Ms Courtis said the department has a feral pig management program in place at the reserve and the disturbance caused by the illegal hunting was reducing the effectiveness of the program, which includes the use of pig traps.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any suspected hunting in conservation reserves to their local Parks and Wildlife office.