Fox baiting extends chemical fenceline to Peesey Swamp
A coordinated fox baiting program on southern Yorke Peninsula has been expanded to include an extra 20,000 hectares in the Peesey Swamp region, to reduce the impacts of foxes in national parks and farming land in the area.
The extended ‘chemical fenceline’ now targets almost 100,000 hectares of southern Yorke Peninsula in a collaborative approach between landholders and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) under the Australian Government’s Baiting for Biodiversity program.
NRNY Landscapes Team Leader Max Barr says the next round of baiting will occur from September through until the end of October, and local dog owners should be aware that most of Southern Yorke Peninsula will be baited during this time.
"Dog owners need to be aware of where their dogs are, particularly during this baiting time, and not let them wander as the 1080 fox baits are also toxic to domestic dogs," Mr Barr says.
He says the baiting program is traditionally carried out in spring to coincide with fox mating and breeding, and again in autumn when juveniles move away to look for their own territory.
The expansion of the fox baiting program, from Hardwicke Bay to Sturt Bay, has been made possible through the willingness of landholders to work collaboratively with NRNY staff to make the baiting more effective.
"Landholders from the Hundreds of Moorowie, Para Wurlie and Coonarie are joining forces, working with NRNY to lay baits at strategically placed bait stations," Mr Barr says.
"They are creating an invisible chemical fence to lessen the impacts of foxes in agriculture and Southern Yorke Peninsula’s biodiversity in the Peesey Swamp area."
Moorowie farmer Dene Bryan’s farm backs up to Peesey Swamp and the Hardwicke Bay sand dunes and he has been involved in the coordinated baiting program for about eight years, baiting independently before that.
He and has seen huge benefits to his lambing program, and says investment in fox baiting is soon recouped.
"Our lambing percentage used to be somewhere between 50-60 per cent, and since we’ve been baiting now it’s jumped up anywhere from 95-110per cent," Mr Bryan says.
"This year we put out about 400 baits, the year before it was 600, plus our time and fuel but it doesn’t take many lambs to make up for that – six lambs and it’s paid for."
Mr Barr says the reduction of fox numbers is also paying dividends to the local environment.
"In terms of the biological and ecological spin offs, having the foxes removed and not preying on shore and ground-nesting birds, native lizards such as heath and sand goannas, and other small native marsupials on southern Yorke Peninsula is having a great impact and we’re now seeing these animals more regularly," he says.
For more information on the southern Yorke Peninsula fox baiting program contact Max Barr on 0488 133 279.