Myth 19: Wilderness is overrun by feral animals and weeds and is degraded
Myth: Wilderness is overrun by feral animals and weeds and is degraded (Peter Cochrane, MP 2004)
Truth: Ferals and pests occur state-wide. They are much less prevalent in well-preserved wilderness areas (especially where there are no roads). Under park management, control measures occur where needed (e.g. ‘Willows out of Wollemi’). There has been evidence of ‘docked’ (having ears removed so dogs cannot hold them down) pigs being released by hunters into wilderness to support feral animal numbers. While no absolutely ‘pristine’ wilderness remains on the Australian mainland, wilderness areas are the best that is left, and should be managed to recover (or ‘rewild’) its natural condition. Wilderness by definition is the least degraded areas that remain. To argue it has no value because it is not ‘pristine’ is simply a ruse to argue for further exploitation of our last remaining large natural areas. It is also an attempt to build fear and hatred of such places amongst local communities, many of whom may not visit wilderness themselves.