HSI are at the forefront of human-wildlife coexistence that aims to reduce the costs and enhance the benefits of living with wildlife.
Coexistence is increasingly being advocated as an important way to reduce the threats facing biodiversity. Yet coexistence between some species of wildlife such as dingoes and flying foxes can be a challenge for sustainable agriculture, animal welfare, and biodiversity conservation.
HSI has extensively researched humane and effective tools and practices to proactively reduce dingo predation on livestock while capitalising on the benefits dingoes to healthy ecosystems. Examples include livestock guardian animals, predator smart deterrents, and livestock husbandry. A new guide to Predator Smart Farming has been released that combines practical knowledge from graziers with the latest science on dingo ecology and behaviour and smart tools and practices that deter dingoes. We also lobby for greater protection of dingoes as a top predator due to their essential role in maintaining healthy landscapes.
We also lobby for greater protection of dingoes as a top predator due to their essential role in maintaining healthy landscapes.
Flying-foxes also known as fruit bats, are intelligent mammals with complex social lives. Flying-foxes are pollinators that are critical to the survival of Australian forests. Flying-foxes can impact farmer livelihoods when they consume fruits grown in orchards.
In New South Wales, HSI helped to secure a phase out of crop-protection shooting licenses. HSI was instrumental in securing government assistance for horticulturalists to install wildlife friendly exclusion netting. The netting provides a physical barrier that is far more effectively mitigate crop damage from bats and fruit eating birds than shooting. This creates a win-win for bats and horticulturalists by mitigating human-wildlife conflicts. HSI is looking to replicate the success of this program by working with government departments in Queensland to support farmers to install netting in conjunction with a phase out of permits to shoot flying-foxes.
We advocate modern approaches to wildlife management that favours coexistence over culling and work towards a brighter future that supports people, the planet and animals.