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Fox on the run

July 18, 2017

Anyone missing a hen?

Following the national release of the RHDV1 K5 virus in March, rabbit numbers are expected to be greatly reduced, perhaps by as much as 40% or more. As rabbits form a significant part of the diet of the Red Fox, hungry foxes are going to be searching for alternative prey and guess what will be in their sights? – native wildlife! – many species of which are already under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation as well as other pressures. Of particular concern are threatened and locally significant species such as Long-nosed Bandicoot, Superb Lyrebird, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Striped Legless Lizard and Spotted Quail-thrush. This was part of the motivation for establishing the King Parrot Catchment Fox Control Project (KPCFCP).

To assess the extent of the fox problem, a remote camera monitoring program was run in March/April. Cameras were deployed at about 40 sites over a 3-week period and almost all recorded foxes, often with multiple sightings. Some of the recorded images are shown here. To see the the prevalence of fox sightings in the King Parrot Creek area go to the FeralScan website and then zoom in to the Kinglake to Strath Creek region.

One aim of this project is to coordinate fox eradication action by all parties interested in maintaining the natural environment and protecting both native species and livestock. Action will take various forms as appropriate or acceptable to participants, including monitoring, baiting, soft-jaw trapping, shooting and den fumigation.

If you’re interested in joining, or learning more about, this project, please contact Chris Cobern on 0413 855 490 or by email at ugln.projects@ugln.net

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