Fox control program

Fox control program
The City of Canterbury Bankstown has joined a regional integrated fox management program. Feral Foxes canterbury bankstown Fox control program The City of Canterbury Bankstown has joined a regional integrated fox management program. Animals and Pets

  

The European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) was introduced into Australia in the 1800s for recreational hunting and is now found throughout the country, including Sydney. Foxes are highly efficient hunters, resourceful scavengers and cause a significant threat to Australia's native animals.

Why is Council trying to control foxes?

Under NSW legislation, all landowners with foxes on their property, including councils, are responsible for their control.

Foxes have played a major role in the decline of many native species including ground-nesting birds, small to medium sized mammals, and reptiles. They are also known to distribute weed seeds across the region, can spread diseases, and are a threat to backyard chickens.

Lansdowne Reserve is home to a diversity of wildlife, including birds, frogs, turtles, possums and echidnas. Within the reserve, portions of land have been set aside as environmental protection areas. In order to protect these areas, and the diversity of plants and animals that call the reserve home, fox control is required.  

What is Council doing to control foxes? 

Controlling foxes is very complex in urban areas and requires many different landowners working together. For this reason, Council works closely with neighbouring Councils and State agencies to manage foxes across the region.

In urban areas, a combination of control techniques are required to help reduce fox populations and minimise the damage they cause. Control may involve trapping using cage or padded jaw-traps, den fumigation, baiting or nocturnal firearm culls.

Council has safely and humanely controlled foxes in reserves along the Georges River since 2014, however foxes continue to cause problems. Therefore, Council will begin a trial fox trapping program at Lansdowne Reserve in February 2020. The program will involve using a combination of cage and padded jaw-traps. All traps will be monitored daily by an experienced and licenced contractor. The reserve will remain open to the public. Warning signs will be erected at reserve entrances and throughout the reserve to remind residents to keep to walking paths and keep dogs on leads.

A fox cage-trap loan service will also continue to be offered to residents with problem foxes on private property.

What if I see an animal caught in a trap? 

Do not approach any trapped animal. Trapped animals may be aggressive and cause harm if approached. Call Council immediately on 9707 9000 to report any trapped animal. If you observe the animal outside business hours, Council's pest control contractor (Australian Feral Management) can be reached on 1300 669 546.

Why should I report foxes?

Fox sightings can be reported to Council via the FoxScan website. Your information will help to map the distribution of foxes, enabling Council to make better decisions about fox control and management. The mapping of fox sightings, fox damage and their dens is an important step towards regional fox control.

What can I do?

Out and about

  • Keep a look out for signs in Lansdowne Reserve with details of the fox control program.
  • Practise responsible pet ownership by ensuring dogs are kept on a leash.
  • Report the location of fox dens to Council.

At home

  • Do not leave food outside. Keep garbage bin lids closed and when your pet has finished eating remove all leftovers.
  • Do not leave chicken feed uncontained. This may attract rats that will then attract the foxes into your yard.
  • Turn outside lights off at night to prevent attracting insects
  • Ensure chickens are contained in a secure chicken coop at night.  Foxes are excellent climbers and diggers, so enclosures need to either have a roof or fences at least two metres high and an overhang of 30 centimetres. The floor will need to be protected with mesh or alternatively, bury the overhang into the ground and outwards of the enclosure.

More information

For more information, go to the FeralScan website, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website, the Office of Local Government website, as well as Council's Responsible pet ownership page.