Joint fox baiting program proves very effective

Forestry Corporation recently conducted a two-week, mid-year fox baiting program in conjunction with the Dubbo Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) and local landholders which has proved very effective.

The Western Regional program was centered on Goonoo and adjoining State forests such as Lincoln, Eura and Breelong.

Forestry Corporation Operations Forester Matt de Jongh said the program was proving very effective as not only do landholders benefit but so too do native species, especially the malleefowl in Goonoo State Forest.

“This has been evident through increased activity at nest sites as observed by Forestry Corporation staff,” he said.

Forestry Corporation are heavily involved in the Goonoo Lands Bigfoot Project, which has been designed to examine malleefowl populations in and around Goonoo State Forest.

This project involves Forest NSW as well as about 60 volunteers traversing large areas of the forest to ascertain the extent of the malleefowl population within the forest.

Approximately 170 people were involved in the baiting program. The program covered an area of 1035 square kilometers with about 8700 baits laid.

“The bait uptake in comparison to the previous program held in March 2004 was down,” Mr de Jongh said.

“This would indicate that the program has been effective in reducing fox numbers.”

Spotlighting counts have been carried out by the RLPB to determine the numbers of foxes since the program was completed.

RLPB, pest animal ranger Mr Rhett Robinson said it was found that there were six times as many foxes in the un-baited areas as opposed to the areas that were baited.

Forestry Corporation and the RLPB are planning another program for later in the year, most probably in November.

Mr de Jongh said as with other programs both agencies would be working cooperatively with land management agencies and landholders to ensure the impact on fox numbers is maintained.

Media contact: Matt de Jongh on (02) 6884 5288.