Trust for Nature has received funding from the Victorian Government for to implement a landscape fox control program to protect waterbird populations in the Gippsland Lakes.
This is being undertaken through a combination of control methods across freehold and public land around the Blond Bay area, over 6,500 hectares. This current project builds on the success of the previous BandiLink project where fox control was undertaken over 15,000 hectares around the Perry River area in conjunction with Southern Ark, East Gippsland Landcare Network and farmers.
“Many waterbirds spend most of their time feeding on the ground and some species also nest on the ground. This means they are all highly susceptible to predation by foxes. ”
The outcomes of this project will be to reduce fox populations around key habitat areas, thereby reducing fox predation with an expected increase in waterbird populations.
Other wildlife in the project area that will benefit from the reduction in fox numbers are Eastern Pygmy Possum and White–footed Dunnart; Lace Monitors (foxes eat baby goannas) and Emus (Emus lay their eggs on the ground) as well as a range of woodland birds such as the Diamond Firetail.
The economic impact of foxes in Australia has been estimated at around $227.5 million per annum. This includes $17.5 million in sheep production losses, $190 million in environmental impacts, $16 million in management costs and $4 million in research costs. This project will contribute to a large-scale reduction in fox densities which will generate significant environmental and economic benefits.