ACT parks to close for pest control
Thermal imaging cameras are used to detect and target animals. Photo supplied

Many parks and reserves across the ACT will be periodically closed throughout May and June as the ACT Government conducts the thermal assisted aerial control program targeting vertebrate pests.

From Monday 13 May to Tuesday 11 June 2024areas of Namadgi National Park, Lower Cotter Catchment, the Murrumbidgee River Corridor, Molonglo River Reserve, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Googong Foreshores will be closed during operations for the safety of visitors. Some adjacent forestry land will also be closed. These closures will be staged during the operational period so not all areas are closed at the same time.

The aerial control program is undertaken annually to remove pest species such as feral deer and pigs from important conservation areas across the ACT, including water catchments. Thermal imaging cameras are used to detect and target animals, increasing effectiveness and animal welfare outcomes.

This program has been carried out across most ACT conservation areas each year since 2021 to protect the environment from the extensive damage that can be caused by invasive vertebrate pests.

The government received additional funding this year through the Better Biosecurity initiative so this will be the largest pest animal program implemented in the ACT. The additional funding will allow the program to expand to operate on many rural properties adjacent to the conservation areas to help farmers manage these pests.

Extensive safety precautions will be in place, including buffer zones, signage and sweeps prior to all operations. The community should also be aware that aircraft may be operating within the closed areas.

Specific closure dates are as follows:

  • Namadgi National Park East: 13 – 19 May
  • Namadgi National Park West: 14 – 24 May
  • Namadgi National Park North: 22 – 26 May
  • Lower Cotter Catchment: 22 – 26 May
  • Stony Creek Nature Reserve: 25 – 31 May
  • Bullen Range Nature Reserve: 25 May – 7 June
  • Gigerline Nature Reserve: 25 May – 7 June
  • Rob Roy Range Nature Reserve: 25 May – 7 June
  • Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve: 3 – 4 June
  • Swamp Creek Nature Reserve: 3 – 7 June
  • Sherwood Special Purpose Reserve: 3 – 7 June
  • Molonglo River Reserve: 3 – 7 June
  • Googong Foreshores: 5 – 11 June

 The Australian Alps walking track will be closed from the Mt Tennant summit to the NSW border in Murrays Gap from 14 to 25 May 2024. Parts of Kosciusko National Park in NSW are also closed, including large sections of the walking track, until 4 October 2024.

The Murrumbidgee Discovery trail will be closed from Pine Island to Casuarina Sands, this includes a section of the Centenary trail between Kambah Pool and Pine Island from 25 May to 7 June.

More information about vertebrate pest management is available on the ACT Environment website.

More information about park and reserves closures in the ACT is available on the ACT Parks website.