Fact sheet

File type: PDF

NESP Marine and Coastal Hub (2023). Feral-ungulate control to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands. Project 3.8 Information sheet. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Cairns, Queensland.



Large populations of ungulates (feral pigs, cattle, and buffalo) roam across northern Australia. They damage the structure and function of native ecosystems that are not adapted to the animals’ foraging and drinking behaviours, nor their hard hooves.

Ungulate activity changes vegetation cover, disturbs soils, increases erosion, reduces water quality, impacts biodiversity, and increases greenhouse gas release through trampling of wetland substrates.

Despite the well-known extent of ungulate damage and community concern, paucity of funding has limited the consistency, and therefore success, of control efforts.

If feral ungulate control can be developed and justified as a novel carbon abatement methodology, the current funding shortfall for control activities can likely be addressed via the Emission Reduction Fund and Nature Repair Market frameworks.

However, strong evidence is needed to participate in these programs; currently, this is lacking.

This project aims to provide this evidence by quantifying greenhouse gas emissions under various ungulate impact and control scenarios; and, to also assess the feasibility of participation by calculating the potential profit versus the cost and effort.