Fox Control

Red foxes pose a serious conservation problem in Australia.

Current estimates indicate that there are more than 6.2 million red foxes and growing with a range extending throughout most of the continental mainland.

The species became established in Australia through successive introductions by settlers in 1830’s.

Due to its rapid spread and the ecological impact, it has classified as one of the most damaging invasive species in Australia.

Red Foxes were introduced to the British colonies of Van Diemen’s Land (as early as 1833) and the Port Phillip District and Sydney Regions of New South Wales (as early as 1845) for the purpose of the traditional English sport of fox hunting.Curiously a permanent fox population was not established on the island of Tasmania and it is widely held that

Curiously a permanent fox population was not established on the island of Tasmania and it is widely held that they were out-competed by the Tasmanian devil. On the mainland, however, the species was successful as an apex predator. The spread of red foxes across the southern part of the continent has coincided with the spread of rabbits in Australia, another invasive species also introduced in the 19th century that is a key prey of the red fox.

Local eradication programs exist, although eradication has proven difficult due to the behaviour and nocturnal hunting, so the focus is on management with the introduction of state bounties.

The main form of control is bait, typically containing 1080 poison.

Fox hunting is legal in all states and they are typically shot with the aid of spotlighting at night or attracted using fox whistles during the day.

The eye shine signature (from the tapetum lucidum in the eye) of foxes and body shape and silhouette are used to identify them.