The Red Fox
Many people in the Torbay catchment have had the unpleasant experience of discovering their beloved chooks decimated after a visit from a red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The fox originated in the northern hemisphere, and has adapted well to living amongst humans in urban and peri-urban areas. It is included among the IUCN's list of the "world's 100 worst invasive species". In Australia it is a skilled hunter of native wildlife. We certainly notice when a fox takes our chooks, but what is not readily seen is the amount of native animals such as bandicoots, possums and other species that are killed and eaten by this introduced predator.
The Torbay Catchment has many smaller landholders who are not legally able or would prefer not to use firearms or 1080 baiting to control foxes. The Torbay Catchment Group has successfully applied to the Red Card for the Red Fox Incentive Scheme for funds to purchase five large fox traps which are now available to be loaned out to interested landholders. We also have two smaller traps suitable for fox cubs or cats.
Trapping a fox takes patience and effort, so to maximise the chances of success it is important that the brochures provided with the traps are read and understood before a trapping program is commenced. The guidelines outline standard operating procedures and provide information on setting the trap, suitable baits and site locations. The Shire of Capel Natural Resource Management officer Rae McPherson has kindly allowed us to share their fox trapping project research information for the brochure. Mike Butcher's flyer also provides useful information.
We have developed a Landholder Information Form which will collate information such as sightings, activity and any animal trapped, including non-target species.
We thank our local Sporting Shooters Association who have agreed to assist in the dispatch of any fox trapped, should you be unable to do so yourself. Even though the red fox is an introduced species, it deserves to be treated humanely.
If you would like to register your interest in borrowing a trap, please phone 0439 461 591 or email . If you would like to purchase a trap, the following manufactures are based in Western Australia: Pederick, VisMax, W.A. Poultry Equipment.