Jan Juc Coast Action group is embarking on a fox control program in an effort to protect the local environment from the predatory pests.
Jan Juc Coast Action chairperson Luke Hynes said foxes were highly destructive to both flora and fauna.
“Foxes not only prey on native animals, but increase the spread of invasive weeds by dispersing weed seeds through their droppings and it is imperative that we reduce their impact,” he said.
Foxes not only prey on native animals, but increase the spread of invasive weeds by dispersing weed seeds through their droppings and it is imperative that we reduce their impact.
“They are becoming more prevalent in the Jan Juc area, often being sighted around supermarkets and suburban backyards,” he said.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) conservation officer Georgie Beale said foxes could also be found in coastal vegetation, and that fox dens were a common sight in the dunes.
“The fox is a clever and oppotunistic predator , and carcasses of penguins and other small marsupials can be seen around their dens and scattered through the dunes.
“Ground nesting birds such as the hooded plover are particularly at risk. GORCC fences plover nesting areas in an attempt to not only protect this threatened species from dogs, but from foxes, ” she said.
Jan Juc Coast Action’s program involves trapping the foxes with soft jaw traps and does not utilise and bait in order to protect dogs.
GORCC is ordering and purchasing equipment for the group in support of the program.
“We are investigating different methods fox control, and are happy to be able to assist the group in this important program,” Beale said.
The Otway Coast Committee’s recent success using soft jaw traps for fox and feral cat trapping is serving as inspiration for the group.
OCC executive officer Gary McPike said about 30 foxes in total had been caught on beaches and foreshores in almost 18 months.
“This is a fantastic result for our native birds and animals. At the start of last year’s hooded plover breeding season three foxes were trapped inside one of our nesting areas in the one weekend.
” As a result, for only the second time in 10 years, at lease one plover chick grew to be a fledgling,” he said.
Traps are set away from beach access points and warning signs request dog owners keep their animals under control and stick to the paths.
If you would like to assist Jan Juc Coast Action in their work please call Luke Hynes on 0406 113 438.
This column was featured in the Surf Coast Time’s fortnightly Going Green Column.
What do you think?
Have you seen any foxes in your area?
Have you come across foxes anywhere else on the coast?
What are your thoughts about the control of foxes along the surf coast?