Vertebrate feral animal this month is the Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
The red fox, brought to Australia by Europeans in the 1850s, is an ongoing and serious pest problem due to their impact on native animals and livestock. Today foxes occur over 75% of Australia and their distribution is strongly linked with that of rabbits, but that is not their only prey. A large portion of the fox’s diet often consists of introduced and native animals. Foxes mostly prey upon animals weighing between 35 to 5500 grams. This can include poultry, young lambs or goats, possums, gliders, echidnas, bandicoots, small wallabies and more.
Many Australian mammals also have few young. So any losses to predators can make it difficult for their populations to recover.
HRLN is undertaking a post-fire recovery project in Congewai Valley to improve habitat and biodiversity for threatened species including the Regent honeyeater, Spotted tail quoll, Platypus, Koala and Brush-tailed rock wallaby. An important part of this strategy is vertebrate pest control of which the fox and wild dog are the primary targets. Working with Hunter Local Land Services Biosecurity team, National Parks and Wildlife Service and State Forestry Corporation, we hope to get a handle on how widespread these animals are in the area and take a cooperative approach to reducing their impacts. Cameras deployed across the valley are capturing plenty of fox activity. Stay tuned for more updates.
Read more about the Red fox here.