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Foxes

Council's Management of Foxes

Stage 2 - Control of Council's Integrated Fox Control Management Program was completed as of Friday 28 August 2020.

During this stage 12 foxes were removed from the local government area over 17 months from three rounds of trapping in various reserves and one round of 1080 baiting in Oatley Park.

Stage 3 - Further Monitoring & Mapping is now in progress to best inform Council's future fox management efforts from a regional approach.

Council wishes to advise that the use of soft jaw leg-hold traps were approved at Council's Meeting on 11 March 2019 and are regulated through the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 s 23. Council employs highly experienced and appropriately qualified pest animal management contractors who use Bridger #1.65 leg hold traps equipped with thick rubber 'jaws' and two springs to increase shock absorption and minimise damage to the trapped animal. All traps are monitored daily by thermal fauna cameras and the contractor.

For more information please contact Council's Senior Environment Officer on 9330 6400.


Since its introduction to Sydney almost 150 years ago, the European Red Fox Vulpes has contributed to serious declines and extinctions in native fauna.

Native Australian animals didn’t evolve with foxes and have not developed strategies to avoid fox predation. As a result, native species as varied as reptiles, frogs and insects are easy prey to foxes and other introduced predators. Ground-dwelling native animals and freshwater turtles are also particularly at risk.

Even small numbers of foxes can devastate populations of native animals and jeopardise recovery efforts for threatened species.

Foxes are well known for surplus killing: savaging multiple animals at one time but eating few or even none of their victims. In June 2015 a single fox killed nearly a quarter of the little penguin population in Manly in less than two weeks.
 

Council's management of foxes

Following on from the success of the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Council’s (SSROC) Pest Animal Action Group, an Integrated Fox Management Program has been developed in close association with neighbouring Councils.

The Program is due to conclude in November 2020 and Stage 3 - Further Monitoring & Mapping is now underway, involving:

  1. Tracking of foxes using thermal wildlife cameras to monitor their movement and to identify any possible dispersion into new areas.
  2. GIS Mapping of known fox movements using research partnerships to best inform future regional fox management.

 
Combined with the fox management efforts of neighbouring Councils, our local native fauna are being given a better chance of survival.

How can you help?

Foxes are wily creatures but can be identified through their kills or scat.

Fox Scat Identification

  • Fox scats are similar to small dog scats; however they are thinner and have a distinct curved tail at the end.
  • Fox scats will contain hair, seeds and bone due to their unique omnivorous diet.
Further information is outlined in Council's Fox Education Guide.


Reporting fox sightings

You can report fox sightings to Council or by downloading the FoxScan App.

The following general tips will also help:

  • Not leaving pet food out overnight
  • Using enclosed compost bins
  • Removing fallen fruit at base of garden trees and on lower branches
  • Keeping garbage bins and skip bins covered
  • Keeping domestic prey animals such as poultry in fox-proof enclosures; and
  • Join a local Bushcare group to help control fruit-bearing weeds

Fox-Sightings-LGA-July-2020.JPG
Fox sightings in Georges River Council as of August 2020

Keeping chickens

Keeping chickens is an economical way to source your own food and Council supports residents who choose to do so, provided these NSW regulations for keeping poultry are followed:

  • limited to a floor area of 15m2
  • a maximum height of 3m above ground level (existing)
  • located in the rear yard
  • limited to one per property
  • a distance from the boundary of 3m
  • located at least 4.5m from any dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food
  • made of materials that blend with the environment  and be non-reflective
  • adequately drained
  • paved with concrete, mineral asphalt, or situated on clean sand underneath the roosts or perches
  • occupied by no more than 10 fowls or poultry.

Keep those foxes out!

You can make your chicken enclosure relatively fox-proof by following these useful tips:

  • Fences should be no less than 1800mm high and constructed with thick, 0.9mm wire with gaps no less than 80mm
  • Fences should be curved outwards at the top to prevent a fox jumping over and stretch out 450mm at the bottom either under or above ground
  • Gates should remain locked when not in use, ideally with a padlock or self-closing mechanism

If you follow these tips and make sure to report any wily fox activity in your area to FoxScan, your chickens will enjoy a far better quality of life!

fox-proof-enclosure.jpg


More Information

Further enquiries or reports of foxes in your area can be directed to Council’s Senior Environment Officer on 9330 6400 or by email

You can also visit the SSROC website for useful resources or review our Fox Education Guide.
 


 

 

 


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