Push for community to aid pest effort


Foxes are highly adaptable, resilient and cunning pests that prey on both native wildlife and livestock and are considered a threat to 14 species of birds, 48 mammals, 12 reptiles and two species of amphibians.

IMAG0092
A fox caught was spotted using infrared cameras in September last year. Foxes have been known to take shelter in coastal vegetation and around homes.

These predators have been declared ‘established invasive animals’ by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and a single fox can consume thousands of native animals every year.

You can help to deter the predatory pests and support Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Surf Coast Shire Council fox control efforts by removing potential food and shelter sources from your property.

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge, said foxes were opportunistic, meaning people could easily unwittingly feed or shelter the pests.

“Within our coastal environments and around our homes, there is an abundance of food available for foxes,” Cr Hodge said.

Vanessa Pike Fox 3.jpg
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has played a significant role in the decline of ground-nesting birds, small mammals and reptiles. Photo: Vanessa Pike

“We can all help reduce these food sources by minimising the amount of food left outside, particularly overnight, by covering compost, ensuring rubbish bins are fully closed and cleaning up fallen fruit regularly.”

GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex MacDonald said homeowners should remove structures around their property where foxes may seek refuge or shelter including woody weeds such as boxthorn and blackberries, rubbish piles and old machinery.

“Fencing off rock piles, building materials, hay bales, woodpiles, and underneath houses will also help reduce hiding places foxes can live in,” she said.

GORCC and Council are working together to reduce fox numbers on the coast, with GORCC leading intensive on-ground eradication efforts and monitoring programs in coastal areas with Council funding support.

Council also runs separate fox eradication initiatives on land it manages as part of its annual pest plant and animal programs.

“Fox control requires an ongoing effort and our best chance of reducing numbers on the Surf Coast is for communities and land managers to work together,” said Ms. MacDonald.

Foxes are a particular threat to local, beach nesting Hooded Plovers, with the predators thought to have been behind the disappearance of multiple chicks, eggs and adult birds over the past two years.

“Point Impossible, Point Roadknight and Moggs Creek are being particularly targeted as these sites are known Hooded Plover breeding zones,” said Ms. MacDonald

For more information on pests on the coast and how you can help visit www.gorcc.com.au or www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au.

How do you help deter foxes and pest animals around your home? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Push for community to aid pest effort

  • There are heaps of foxes in the area from ‘jump rock’ to North Lorne. Easy to spot at night when your headlights pick them out. Simple solution: bait with 1080. These animals are a menace and to be honest something should have been done about it already (i’ve noticed them a lot for at least the last two years). Every day these things have to eat, and unless they are managing to scrounge an existence from rubbish bins, they are living off native animals. Please get rid of them.

    • Hi Dane, Unfortunately foxes are a huge issue along the Great Ocean Road and one that GORCC takes very seriously. Every year we implement an integrated pest animal control program that focuses on foxes and rabbits. This is done in conjunction with the Surf Coast Shire to ensure program effectiveness across management boundaries. Baiting with 1080 is not currently part of our control program; however is something GORCC is willing to consider in areas that are not heavily urbanised. Our Environmental and Education Manager, Alex MacDonald, would be happy to discuss this approach further with you (5220 5055).

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