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Successful coastal fox control program to continue

fox supplied

Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will again work together to carry out the coastal fox control program in an effort to protect our region’s native wildlife.

The fox control activities will take place in coastal bushland areas from the Maroochy River north to Peregian and west to Coolum Creek to assist the survival of native species.

The program will run from March 27 until August 25, 2017.

The European red fox is a restricted invasive animal (declared pest) in Queensland. The program is designed to control fox breeding activity and reduce fox predation on native species such as water mice, ground parrots and endangered loggerhead turtles at the egg and hatchling stage.

Council’s Team Leader Feral Animal Education and Control Tony Cathcart said this year’s program would include DNA analysis on all captured foxes.

“In each year of the program, we have incorporated the latest technology,” Mr Cathcart said.

“This year we will be utilising DNA analysis to identify individual foxes. 

“DNA sampling can provide valuable insight into fox abundance prior to, and after control and will enable us to track population movements.

“The information gained from this study will help us further evaluate the effectiveness of the control program and will contribute to the design of future control strategies.”

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said it was imperative that we continued to monitor fox activity.

“We have been running this program for two years now, with extremely positive results,” Cr McKay said.

“So far we have removed 62 foxes from beaches and coastal reserves and inspected more than 150 fox dens for signs of activity and control.

“Our aim is to protect our native species in these areas so it’s important that we ensure the coastal fox population doesn’t recover to pre-control levels.

“We have received great support from the community for this program in the past and we’re looking forward to continued support to ensure the longevity and security of native species in our region into the future.”

Nearby residents will be notified and areas affected by the control program will be clearly identified by warning signs at all entrances to provide guidance and information for residents and visitors.

Residents are encouraged to take care when walking their pets near control areas throughout the duration of the program.

Please be mindful of the signage, ensure your pets are kept on a lead and are not allowed to roam into locations where control activities are being conducted.

The coastal fox control program was developed with significant input and support from Coolum and North Shore Coast Care, Biosecurity Queensland and QPWS.

Council’s fox control program uses best practice control methods which have been developed and demonstrated in highly successful wildlife conservation programs including the Northern Sydney regional fox control program and Western Australia’s black flanked wallaby recovery program.

Residents can assist with the management of foxes by reporting suspected fox dens to council on 5475 7272.

Image supplied.