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Fox baiting at Boolcoomatta

Alistair Dermer (Reserve Manager)
Published 12 Oct 2016 by Alistair Dermer (Reserve Manager)

The fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a brilliant animal, adaptable to so many climates, yet so destructive to our native fauna.

At Boolcoomatta Reserve Bush Heritage has been baiting foxes since 2009, with very good success. This graph of baits taken (29kb) highlights the success during the initial intensive baiting program from 2009 to 2011. 

Recently we completed another round of baiting, testing and recording bait take, at the same 200 bait stations used since 2009. 

We were very pleased with the results – less than 10% of baits were taken, for a total of 19 baits from the 200 laid.

Map of baits at Boolcoomatta (6.3mb).

Nick Barratt and David Adams, valued volunteers, spent a week on the reserve a month ago putting out the baits. The process involved travelling around the reserve boundaries and internal tracks. Every kilometre, at dedicated bait station sites, they created an area 50cm across of loose soil, buried the baits to 5cm to 10cm deep and placed either fish sauce or tuna oil on-top as an additional scented lure.

Nick Barratt returned last week to re-visit the bait stations and record the baits taken.

The majority of baits removed were on the boundary, and many of the baits removed were from consecutive stations, suggesting a fox has dug up more than one bait, which is often the case.

From this we believe that there are, or were less than 6 foxes at the time entering the reserve or on the reserve. This is a great result given that it's a 64,000 ha property.

Ongoing landscape-scale land management is the key to long-term protection of our native flora and fauna. Thanks to our supporters, and to our volunteers like Nick and David, we're maintaining a significant positive impact on this landscape.

NOT at Boolcoomatta! NOT at Boolcoomatta!
Bait station, bait yet to be buried. Bait station, bait yet to be buried.
Country looking great! Country looking great!
Nick Barratt, placing baits. Nick Barratt, placing baits.
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