In northern Australia, feral ungulates (hoofed animals), especially pigs, buffalo, and cattle, cause damage to the environment and are vectors for disease. Indigenous Land and Sea Managers oversee control programs but intermittent and insufficient funding limits the consistency and success of efforts. Similarly, resource shortfalls have prevented the development of an optimally coordinated or consistently monitored control program across the entire north.

New funding opportunities for ungulate control across the Indigenous estate, and beyond, potentially exist within Emission Reduction Fund and Nature Repair Market frameworks. An evidence-based case for participation in these markets is being built by associated NESP Project 3.8.

Successful delivery of control efforts within these markets requires strong governance and coordination, environmental monitoring, and consideration of social and cultural values.

Project 3.9 will support Indigenous organisations and other relevant stakeholders to both evaluate these issues, and to create an informed ‘roadmap’ to achieve Indigenous- led feral animal management in northern Australia.


In collaboration with Indigenous organisations across northern Australia, and in partnership with the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network, this project will build this roadmap by:

  • mapping the Indigenous land tenure across northern Australia;
  • collating information on the Indigenous estate and management organisations;
  • testing the availability of mapping elements essential for control efforts using case studies;
  • considering potential tenure constraints such as mustering licences or land use agreements;
  • conducting skills audits for each study area, for example, of trained shooters;
  • incorporating cultural governance and values into consultation and decision-making; and
  • defining implementation, governance, and resource requirements.

Expected outcomes

  • Indigenous economic, social and country values considered in mapping process.
  • An Indigenous-led vertebrate pest control program.
  • A management program designed by and for Indigenous organisations and communities.

Project location