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Foxes

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.
 

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


 

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

 

Council's management of foxes

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

Georges River Council is currently implementing Stage 2 - Control of the Program which includes:

  1. Fox soft leg-hold trapping in carefully selected Council reserves to co-incide with fox breeding seasons in Spring 2019, Autumn & Winter/Spring 2020.
  2. Ongoing reporting and monitoring of fox sightings in public areas using infrared cameras and community tip-offs.

 
At the conclusion of the first two 10-day trapping program and associated 1080 fox baiting program as of December 2019, five foxes are confirmed to have been removed from the Georges River Local Government Area.
 
Combined with the fox management efforts of neighbouring Councils, our local native fauna are being given a better chance of survival.


More Information

Further enquiries or reports of foxes in your area can be directed to Council’s Senior Environment Officer on 9330 6053 or by email

You can also visit the SSROC website for useful resources or review the Fox Control Fact Sheet.
 


 

 

 


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