Images: Baiting will not be used for fox control because of the risk to native and domestic animals. Fumigation is an effective means of reducing breeding fox numbers.
The Shire will be undertaking fox trapping and den destruction in several reserves over the following month.
The fox program will be conducted over 7 – 14 days at Maida Vale Reserve, Ledger Rd Reserve, Panoramic Terrace Kalamunda, Ray Owen Reserve and Reid Oval. This will involve fox trapping and fumigation and destruction of any active fox dens at each reserve.
Owners are reminded to keep dogs on lead and cats should not be allowed to roam in the reserves.
Control of foxes and feral cats is an important part of the protection of biodiversity within the reserves. Predation on native fauna such as bandicoots, possums and other species has caused a decline in these species across metropolitan Perth. Meaningful reductions in numbers of foxes is readily achieved through the effective use of traps and den destruction. With the recent release of the Rabbit biological control it is expected there will be an increased impact of foxes on native fauna as the availability of rabbits as a food source declines. Fox control works will be carried out by the Shire’s nominated contractor
Foxes are having a severe impact on native wildlife populations. They are one of Australia's most serious pest animals and their primary impact is predation of livestock and native animals. If rabies is introduced to Australia foxes would pose a major biosecurity threat as a vector of the disease. Foxes are highly mobile and can travel up to 10km per night, demonstrating a significant impact across a wide range by a few individuals.
Method The contractor will employ methods compliant with the National Standard Operating Procedures. Fox control consists of den fumigation using Dencofume and trapping using padded foot-hold traps. Where active fox dens are found, the contractor will fumigate and destroy the den to prevent further breeding opportunities.
Trapping permits are required for the fox trapping programs under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act. Traps lures to be used meet current trapping permit protocols used by Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) for fox control. The soft padded foot hold traps are sized and used in minimal number to target the capture the foxes only. They will be set and left for the duration of the program, although locations will be changed depending on the movement of foxes. Trap checking will occur from daylight onwards until 7.30am daily.
Traps will not be set on tracks or other areas used by people walking domestic dogs. Warning signs will be erected at the entrances to the reserves. Areas where there may be a risk of people entering, danger tape and other barriers used where appropriate.
The contractor will attend to traps each day and only the minimal number of traps required will be set.
The Shire’s nominated contractor has formal qualifications in the Vertebrate Pest Management Certificate, Pest Management, Conservation and Land Management and are members of the Vertebrate Pest Managers Association (WA). Their safety management systems meet the requirements of a number of regulating Acts, including the Wildlife Conservation Act, Animal Welfare Act, Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act, various Codes of Practice such as the Model code of practice for humane control of rabbits.