Join the dots to fight the fox foe

Landmark Column with Mark Webb

Most of us within our region have pets of some kind, be it a dog, horse or chickens.

Having the option of keeping animals is one reason why a number of people live within our district, but as owners it is our responsibility to manage and look after their welfare to the best of our ability.

Recently I lost a number of chickens to a fox. I have had chickens for a number of years and thought I had made my chook yard fox proof. Sadly this was not the case.

I have been a victim to these feral pests over a number of years, as have a number of my friends; I am sure many of you as well.

I believe these animals do not belong within our region.

The fox (Vulpes vulpes) is one of the most successful predators in the world.

Their diet consists of one-third wildlife, one-third pest animals like mice and rabbits and one-third livestock.

Foxes were first introduced to Australia in the 1870s.

They have spread to become one of our major vertebrate pests and are a major threat to our livestock, small native mammals, birds and reptiles.

It has been estimated tfoxes cost more than $227 million in terms of loss of production to the agricultural industry, ongoing costs of control, and loss in biodiversity.

I recently came across a fantastic website, where I believe I can contribute to help reduce the incidence of people going through the same anguish as I have.

The site is FeralScan.org.au, which is a government website that enables the user to map feral animals and the damage they cause.

This website focuses on a number of pest animals, with one being foxes.

This program allows you to record and map sightings of foxes.

You can create a map showing all the fox records in your local area or create a map of your data.

When you have one sighting of a fox that is all you have, one dot on a map but when you have several sightings you have several dots on a map and that can paint a picture of where and when foxes are active.

Imagine if a majority of us who have had fox issues could map where foxes have been. This information could then be compiled and we could then narrow down where foxes are living.

The collated data would provide up to date evidence to the appropriate agencies such as the Natural Resource Management Board, which could then co-ordinate and implement fox control programs to reduce or eradicate these feral animals from our region.

The success of any project depends on how many people are involved.

I believe we can help eradicate these animals from our area if we work together.

• For further information you can email: twowellslewistonlandcare@y7mail.com.

Leave a Reply