Thieves have stolen four motion sensor cameras being used as part of a feral animal control program in Tweed shire.
The cameras, worth about $3,200, had been placed at sites around Mount Nullum, to capture images of wild dogs, cats and foxes.
The control program is being undertaken by the council, North Coast Local Land Services (NCLLS) and local landholders, and is aimed at protecting livestock, domestic pets and native fauna.
Council’s Director – Community and Natural Resources, Tracey Stinson, said important information had been lost as a result of the thefts.
She said the council would now monitor the site closely and look to identify and restrict all access points to Mount Nullum by installing gates.
‘A spring baiting program for dogs and foxes will now have to be coordinated without the supporting data,’ Ms Stinson said.
‘This reduces the ability to determine if target pest fauna are even present when baiting is to occur.
She said the cameras had been installed to determine the numbers and activity of pest fauna in bushland on Mount Nullum, but had also captured other unauthorised access.
Ms Stinson said a number of riders on quad bikes were also captured on camera using the site.
‘Access gates have been vandalised to gain entry and the repair of these gates comes at an additional cost to council and the community,’ she said.
‘The return of the cameras or, at the very least, the data-capture cards contained in the cameras, would enable council’s continued active management of the Mount Nullum site.
She said anyone with information about the thefts or unauthorized access should contact the council on (02) 6670 2400.