There are 21 different species of fox throughout the world, but only the red fox is found in Australia. It was first released in the Melbourne area around the 1850s. Within just 20 years foxes were declared a pest species in Victoria.
Foxes predate on lambs and weak calves. Also, chickens and other domestic pets such as rabbits and aviary birds. They carry diseases that are transmissible to dogs and humans such as sarcoptic mange, hydatids and leptospirosis. Foxes also predate on native mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. And they spread weed seeds far and wide in their manure.
Baiting is by far the most effective method of control. But there are also some constructive actions you could employ, if you prefer not to bait, or to enhance your existing control program.
Shooting is the most humane form of fox control, but for best results should not be used while baiting is in progress.
Other indirect control measures include: removing animal carcasses to prevent scavenging, control your rabbit population, control blackberries and other woody weeds that could harbour foxes, tidy rubbish piles, fence off underneath buildings, water tanks and other possible hiding areas.
Another important thing to consider as part of your fox control program is to keep records. Record where and how many foxes you shoot. Note your lambing percentage and seasonal conditions from year to year. Use spotlighting counts to assess fox numbers. Consider using sensor cameras to monitor fox activity. This will establish a benchmark, and something to track the success of your control program against.
Whether it’s native fauna you’re protecting or your livelihood, one thing is sure: foxes don’t belong in Australia and fox control needs to become a regular and ongoing component of your property management activities.
For more information contact; Ruth Aveyard 0447 242 474 email@example.com