AMONG my other media activities is a fairly regular Sunday arvo spot on a capital city radio station.
Some very interesting people join the program. Among the most recent was Steve Lapidge, who heads up the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.
This body creates new technologies and integrated strategies to reduce the impact of invasive animals on Australia's economy, environment, and people.
Foxes, wild dogs, cats, rabbits and feral pigs are in their sights.
Outback to Bay is outdoors-based and freely discusses the shooting sports.
As such, it takes over from the CSIRO, long starved of adequate funds for this kind of work.
Lapidge comes across as a common-sense bloke, a not-so-common trait for people with abundant academic qualifications.
He applauds the job shooters do in controlling ferals causing millions in damages to the rural economy, but makes the point that hunters aren't out there 24/7 and there are lands where shooters cannot go.
The other good news is that the body has received Commonwealth funding for the next five years.
Financial projections include savings to the rural economy in the order of $29 million per annum by reducing the impacts of fox and wild dogs by 10 per cent, and $7 million a year through reducing rodent damage by 20 per cent. CRC figures also cite some $16 million per annum by reducing feral pig damage by 15 per cent.
The delivery times for projects are within the funding period.
Wild dog and fox research is a major project where work on a new toxin is nearing completion.
The wool industry and pest control entities are collaborating with CRC on dogs and foxes.
A futuristic concept grabbing the imagination is a kind of booby trap with an array of sensors that filter out carnivorous native fauna.
A dog, cat or fox becomes attracted to a source and cops a spray.
The feral licks its coat.
Genetic controls are also on the agenda.
There's a Koi (carp) herpes virus that's recently been developed overseas. A kind of carp calici, that Lapidge is pretty categorical about having the potential to rid the Murray/Darling of the plague.
Work at CRC is also underway on control measures for crop-damaging birds and that awful imported menace, the cane toad.