Protecting Waterbirds through Landscape Fox Control

Foxes are an introduced predator that takes a massive toll on our native and migratory waterbird populations. Control of fox populations is vital to ensure safe habitats for the waterbirds of the Gippsland Lakes.

About the project

  • The aim of this project is to control fox numbers and increase waterbird populations in the Gippsland Lakes.
  • The project area covers 6,500 ha and includes Blond Bay State Game Reserve and the surrounding freehold land.
  • Fox baiting will occur within Blond Bay Reserve throughout 2017, with baits replaced every fortnight.
  • A community incentive program will be run through East Gippsland Landcare Network to encourage landholders surrounding the reserve to bait or shoot foxes at the same time.
  • Monitoring will be undertaken to evaluate the project’s impact on the fox population.
  • A long term monitoring program for waterbirds will also be established and base line data collected.

Why Blond Bay?

Many waterbirds spend most of their time feeding on the ground, with some species also nesting on the ground, making them highly susceptible to predation.

This project will reduce fox numbers and protect these extremely vulnerable water birds.

Other fauna that will benefit from the reduction in fox predation include threatened and endangered species:

  • Eastern Pigmy Possum.
  • White-footed Dunnart.
  • Lace Monitor.
  • Emus (near-threatened).
  • A range of woodland birds.
  • Ring-tail possums.
  • Brush-tail possums.
  • Sugar and feather-tail gliders.
  • Agile Antechinus.

Habitat for the EPBC listed nationally endangered New Holland Mouse is also present at the reserve and remote cameras will be set up to determine if the mouse is present.

Landowner participation

Landholders in the project area will be encouraged to undertake ongoing and concurrent fox control through shooting or baiting.

Landholders outside of the project area will be given second priority for incentives but can also apply and participation is encouraged.

The more landholders involved the greater the impact on the fox population.

 

This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the Gippsland Lakes.

 

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