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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Fox trapping in bushland aids threatened fauna

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Maps showing the three trapping areas at Bogangar, Pottsville and the Fingal Peninsula.  Photo supplied.
Maps showing the three trapping areas at Bogangar, Pottsville and the Fingal Peninsula. Photo supplied.

Fox trapping will be undertaken in priority bushland areas next week to assist the breeding of threatened local fauna.

Soft-jaw trapping will be undertaken from 6 – 11 November at three sites: Bogangar, Pottsville and the Fingal Peninsula.

‘The trapping will be timed to reduce fox numbers, particularly during breeding periods for a number of endangered species including Bush Stone-curlews and Beach Stone-curlews and approaching the nesting season for Green and Loggerhead Turtles,’ Tweed Council’s program leader – pest management, Pamela Gray, said.

‘Foxes pose a serious threat to native fauna and the trapping sites have been identified by detector dog surveys and ongoing camera monitoring as hot spots for fox activity.

‘Public access to all three trapping sites is prohibited between 6 and 11 November and all tracks leading into the trapping areas will be clearly signposted.   

‘Owners will be responsible for keeping their pet dogs out of the areas. Any domestic pets caught in the traps will be taken to the Tweed Shire Council pound,’ Ms Gray said.

‘The trapping is being implemented in conjunction with a 1080 fox baiting program that began on the Tweed Coast in August and continues until 31 January 2018.’

For further information on the fox trapping program, contact Tweed Council’s program leader – pest managementt, Pam Gray, on 6670 2400.

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  1. Well done Tweed Council in acting to address the proven threats of foxes to threatened fauna species using the tiny parcels of land that are their management responsibility. Let’s hope this fox trapping program catches a few cats too.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the apparently ironically titled National Parks and WILDLIFE SERVICE to undertake a similar, or co-operative(?) trapping or 1080 baiting program in the much larger adjoining Nature Reserves so these programs can have a greater impact on pest animals and provide greater benefits for threatened species?

    NPWS is the largest land owner in this area, supposedly managing these Nature Reserves for the protection and conservation of wildlife in a series of nature reserves in peri-urban environment, containing a proven high level of feral animal activity AND threatened species……. so what are they doing? How do they justify their inaction towards their core duty of wildlife protection and management? Land needs managing, it doesn’t manage itself!

  2. Mathew, I have a family member who is a park ranger down there and I can assure you they have been doing baiting and monitoring of Dingoes and feral dogs for years.

    I believe the fox and cat problem could be solved by stopping the persecution of Dingoes and focusing on the various proven methods of protecting stock. An intact dingo pack will not only reduce the population of cats and foxes but will also control the population other dingoes and other feral animals such as pigs and goats etc.

    There are cattle properties up north that have an 25-30% increased production of beef since stopping the control of dingoes because the dingoes lower the roo population which leaves more fodder for stock. It would be good to establish a dingo protected zone in a peri-urban area that was big enough to enclose the range of one or more dingo packs. Then monitor stock losses and dingo and meso predator populations for a number of years and see what happens. I am involved with a group that is working toward setting up such an experiment.

  3. Hans. Long overdue research. Have you read the research from 1983 Populations of the Murray River Tortoise,
    Emydura (Chelodina): the Effect of Egg Predation by the Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes? It found that where dingoes existed on the Cooper River there were no foxes and hence no fox predation. Other areas in the study found 93% predation of turtle eggs by foxes.
    “To estimate the probable age structure of the E. macquarii population in the Murray
    before the introduction of foxes, a study of the Cooper Creek Emydura species was
    undertaken. This is the only area in South Australia where tortoises occur in the virtual
    absence of foxes; I saw no evidence of foxes there and residents confirmed that they are
    rare. However, dingoes are common. They are known to eat foxes (P. Aitken, personal
    communication), and such predation may be responsible for a scarcity of foxes. Foxes are
    also absent from areas of Western Australia where dingoes are common (D. King, personal
    communication). Dingoes occurred along the Murray before foxes, but other nest predators,
    such as water rats, ravens and goannas, occur along both the Murray and the Cooper. The
    morphology and ecology of the two Emydura species is similar. Hence it is assumed that
    the age structure of the Cooper Creek population is likely to be similar to that of the
    Murray population before foxes.”
    I am hoping to set up a similar experiment for the Manning River Turtle to establish dingo protected zones in rural areas and monitor meso predator populations especially foxes and impacts on nest predation.


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