This project will critically assess populations of pigs and deer across the Otways; identify regions where management is necessary to preserve EPBC list fauna and flora and vital assets such as water catchments; and develop a strategy to mitigate the impact of pigs and deer across the Otways.

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

Targeted research to establish baseline project data and define critical habitat will establish where feral pigs and deer pose the greatest threat to natural and cultural heritage. The project will develop early detection protocols using eDNA and establishment of long-term camera monitoring of feral pig and deer within critical habitat areas and public health assets.

In collaboration with Landcare project partners, three workshops will be delivered, focusing on the ecological and agricultural impacts of pigs and deer, effective management techniques and the use of FeralScan. These annual workshops will be delivered to both Community and Land Management agencies.

GPS data loggers will be deployed each year on feral pigs across separate pig populations in the Otways to allow understanding of the resources pigs are utilising throughout the year across different sub-regions and informing the structure of pig-control programs. A remote camera grid system will be optimised to ensure adequate detection of enough individual animals to confidently measure abundance.

Localised eradication of pig populations will be targeted through integrated pest management  utilising the HogEye camera and trap system and data coming directly from a Judas pig program.

The project will coordinate and direct community-led pest control efforts  and develop networks of Prime Safe registered shooters across the Otways. Land management agency staff will be trained in effective feral pig and deer control techniques.

A state-wide network to share knowledge about feral pig and deer management will be created.

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), Sophie Radalj (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 support by the Corangamite CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund. 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
F: 03 5232 2759

Geelong Office

54A Corio St, Geelong VIC 3220
Hours: 8:30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday

T: 1800 002 262
F: 03 5232 2759