National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) says it has stopped laying poison baits to control foxes in the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve south of New Brighton.
An NPWS spokesman said the service did not lay any 1080 bait outside the boundaries of the nature reserve nor had it done so in the reserve since December last year.
The NPWS statement was in response to fears the use of 1080 poison baits along the beach near New Brighton beach had killed wildlife recently.
A reader told Echonetdaily they saw a dead possum in the area recently and suspected it may have taken one of the baits. The reader said warning signs along the beach south of New Brighton indicated the use of baits.
NPWS spokesman Lawrence Orel said the use of 1080 baits underground at designated ‘bait stations’ enabled individual baits to be monitored and ‘reduces the likelihood of non-target animals taking baits’.
‘This also ensures unused baits can be collected and disposed of properly. Once laid, baits are only in place for a week. Unused baits are collected and disposed of. If the program is continuing new baits are laid. If the program is concluding unused baits are disposed of.
‘Baiting is in accordance with the Livestock Health and Pest Authority requirements and NPWS pest management strategies,’ he said.
Feral animal trapping
Meanwhile, Byron Shire Council will recommence feral animal trapping this week in a bid to protect the region’s unique natural environment.
Council will begin the program this Friday (16 March), and is likely to run until spring, coinciding with the breeding season for wild dogs and baiting programs being undertaken in a number of national parks.
Council trapping will take place on private properties with the consent of landholders at Main Arm, The Pocket, Upper Coopers Creek, Goonengerry, Federal and Tyagarah.
Council’s natural environment team leader, Angus Underwood, said the latest trapping program will target wild dogs, foxes and cats in an effort to reduce impacts on livestock and wildlife.
‘Favourable conditions over the last couple of years have seen wild dog numbers increase, most likely as a result of increases in the wildlife which wild dogs prey on. So we need to be vigilant in keeping feral animal numbers as low as possible,’ Mr Underwood said.
Council has engaged an experienced trapper to work on properties that expressed an interest in being involved in the program. Council will pay a retainer to the trapper, with landholders paying a fee per carcass for each animal caught.
Mr Underwood reminded Byron Shire pet owners to be responsible by ensuring they don’t let their pets roam unchecked.
‘Roaming domestic dogs and cats have a significant impact on both livestock and native wildlife and domestic dogs can mate with wild dogs adding to the problem,’ he said.
Readers can now go online www.feralscan.org.au to map where wild dogs, feral goats and starlings occur anywhere across Australia, to record sightings, damage and control activities to help manage these pests.
WildDogScan, FeralGoatScan and StarlingScan are the latest additions to the FeralScan project by the Invasive Animals CRC and the NSW Department of Primary Industries that has received overwhelming community participation with more than 9,000 records of feral pests entered by 5,000 participants Australiawide since it was launched in January 2011.