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Landholders quick to jump on discounted fox bait

News release
16 March 2020

16 March 2020

Landholders gathered at bait collection points across the region in February to make the most of discounted and free fox bait provided by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke.

More than 150 landholders visited 23 sites over three days as part of a coordinated fox control program that aims to reduce the environmental and agricultural impact of this feral predator.

Foxes are estimated to cost Australia more than $228 million per year in combined environmental and agricultural impacts and control costs, making fox control a natural resource management priority. They prey on many species of native wildlife and on livestock, including lambs, calves, poultry and water fowl.

Northern and Yorke landscape officer Kevin Smith said savings on baits were offered now to help landholders target young foxes before they found new territories. “We offer fox bait distribution and injection days twice a year, at the end of summer and again in mid spring,” said Mr Smith.

“The spring baiting is scheduled to target foxes before mating, while the summer baiting aims to remove young pups before they become skilled predators.”

Landholders had the option of visiting 12 bait distribution points on Yorke Peninsula ranging from Warooka to Alford, while there were eight locations in the lower and mid north district. Burra and Eudunda collection sites were also open to landholders in Goyder.

In the southern Flinders upper north district, free bait injection is offered to landholders who supply their own semi-dried meat, with an injection day held in Peterborough in mid-February.

Funded by the Living Flinders program, two more injection days are scheduled for 17 March in Quorn and 18 March in Wilmington.

Mixed enterprise grower Craig Jaeschke attended the lower and mid north distribution day in Clare on 28 February and said it would be the fourth year of fox baiting on the family’s Hill River Valley property.

“We lamb twice a year in late March, early April and in July/August and we’ve seen increasing fox activity around those times,” he said. “Our strategy is to get the baits out early and target those areas where we see foxes, which is around lambs and in nearby paddocks.

“We think it’s a pretty easy control measure and if you can knock down 10, 20 or 50 foxes, then it’s worth doing.”

A coordinated baiting program using injected and manufactured baits is an effective and environmentally-conscious form of fox control in most rural areas, however it requires thorough planning and monitoring to ensure that the application is appropriate and that non-target species are not affected.

At each collection site, Northern and Yorke landscape officers provide landholders with 1080 directions for use, which are also available on the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (SA) website.

Fox bait distribution days are an initiative of the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board and funded through the NRM Levy. A portion of baits distributed in the lower and mid north district were subsidised through Wakefield Regional Council’s ‘Combatting pests and weeds in drought conditions’ grant.

For more information about fox bait distribution, contact Natural Resources Northern and Yorke in Clare on 8841 3444 or email ny.landscape@sa.gov.au.

More information

Communications Coordinator

88413444

sarah.johnson@sa.gov.au