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Fox baiting strategy finds environmental gains
12 September 2003

Finding the best ways to deliver effective and efficient fox baiting controls while protecting and enhancing biodiversity is the aim of an innovative research project being undertaken by Parks Victoria in partnership with the Department of Sustainability and Environment's Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARIER).

Established two years ago, the Fox Adaptive Experimental Management (AEM) project aims to improve the effectiveness of fox control on public land, both in terms of reducing the fox population and also monitoring how native species respond to different fox baiting strategies.

The project, which operates in six Victorian parks, uses a combination of different fox baiting strategies including timing (the period of baiting) and intensity (the number of baits per kilometre), to measure changes in the level of fox activity.

ARIER research scientist Dr Alan Robley said that while the project was only in its second year, it had already produced some positive environmental results.

"The project has established for the first time, the presence of the Little Pygmy Possum at the Little Desert National Park, which is an extension of the known range for the species and confirmed the presence of the Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo at Coopracambra National Park, " he said.

"Although it will be another 3-5 years before we can reach any definitive results, we are already beginning to see environmental gains and reaching a much better understanding of the most effective fox baiting strategies," he said.

Dr Robley said that initial results from the fox AEM project suggested that continuous control operations over large areas were more likely to suppress fox numbers than seasonal or short-term operations over small areas.

Parks participating in the fox AEM project are:

- Coopracambra National Park - Codrington Coastal Park
- Grampians National Park - Hattah-Kulkyne National Park
- Little Desert National Park - Wilsons Promontory National Park

At each of these parks, a combination of annual, continuous and pulsed timing programs and intensity of fox control using 1080 poisoned baits is being implemented.

Media Release
From the Department of Sustainability and Environment

Contacts & Links

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI)
The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research is part of the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
Location: 123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084
ARI conducts research and surveys to assist in biodiversity conservation and ecologically sustainable development. It provides authoritative information on flora, fauna and biodiversity conservation to land managers, and the Victorian public.

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