Management of feral pigs and deer is crucial to preserving natural and cultural heritage and/or strategic assets such as water catchments.

Feral pig and deer eradication to protect native species in the Otway Ranges, Bells Beach (Ironbark Basin) and Great Ocean Road hinterland

This project will determine where they pose the greatest threat, establish early detection protocols and attempt localised eradication of pig populations.

Pig and deer populations across the Otways are being mapped by a variety of monitoring methods including camera grids, traps, community reports and aerial survey. Strategies to control and mitigate their impact are being trialled.

This includes training community members in monitoring methods; coordinating direct community-led pest control efforts; developing of a network of accredited, registered shooters; training land management agency staff in effective feral pig and deer control techniques and developing best practice guidelines.

A framework for integrated assessment of data collected is being established; and a web portal to provide access to information on outcomes from each of the sub-projects will be maintained as a legacy of the Initiative. Linkages between the sub-projects ensure landscape outcomes are achieved for conservation. This approach also ensures Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park land managers can maintain the Initiative’s legacy into the future.

Delivery & Supporting Partners

Dr Jack Pascoe (Conservation and Research Program), Emma Birnbaum (Conservation Ecology Centre),  Tim Wilson (Conservation Ecology Centre).

Landcare Facilitators: Andy Gray (Central Otway Landcare Network), Andrea Montgomery (Upper Barwon Landcare Network), Oliver Kerr (Southern Otway Landcare Network).

Subcontractors: Daniel Lewer (Hunter Land Management), Daryl Panther (Victorian Wildlife Management).

Linkages With Other Sub-Projects

The project will work closely with the project team of sub-project Phytophthora Management to identify areas where feral pigs and deer pose a substantial threat to the spread and containment of Phytophthora cinnamomi.

The CEC’s collaboration with Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation on the sub-project Fox & Cat Management will extend to identifying areas of cultural significance under threat from feral pigs and deer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The Australian Government’s Wild Otway initiative is a three-year $6m commitment towards threatened species management and pest animal control in the greater Otway’s region. The Initiative includes the delivery of a broad and inclusive environmental community grants program and five commissioned sub-projects, which include pig and deer eradication, fox and cat management, Phytophthora (a plant pathogen) management, small mammal conservation and rewilding in the Otways.

Australian Government Wild Otways Initiative website page will be updated regularly with more information when the on-ground works begin. Our CCMA media channels will also be an outlet for project updates. If you would like to receive our regular project Communique please subscribe below to be apart of our distribution below.


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The project area for the initiative covers the area from Jan Juc/Bells Beach to Peterborough, and the Great Otway National Park and hinterlands (Otways Region) in South West Victoria.

The initiative will be delivered in the Greater Otways region of Victoria over the next three years to June 2023.

This project is funded by the Australian Government. This project will run until 2023.

Contact Us

Colac Office

64 Dennis Street, Colac VIC 3250
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262

Geelong office

Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday
All mail must be sent via our Colac office
PO Box 159, Colac, VIC 3250

T: 1800 002 262