European fox

Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are opportunistic predators and scavengers and have few natural predators in Australia. Red foxes pose a threat to livestock, as they prey on poultry, lambs and goat kids. In high density areas they may also be a health risk to humans and pets, through transmission of diseases such as distemper, parvo virus and mange.

Evidence suggests red foxes are a primary cause in the decline and extinction of many small and medium-sized rodent and marsupial species in Australia. They also prey on many bird species.

Foxes were originally introduced to mainland Australia in the 1850s for recreational hunting and spread rapidly. Today, they are abundant in all states and territories except Tasmania, where they are still at low density.


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  • LWoodford_Wild_dog_on_deer_carcass PAPP for wild dog and fox control - What is PAPP and how does it work?
  • red-fox2cropped IA CRC product status update - August 2015 update on status of IA CRC products in development
  • fox2 Fox legislation in Australia - Current fox management strategies and techniques are governed or affected by various Commonwealth, state and territory laws.   Fox predation as a key threatening process   The Australian Government (under […]
  • FXFS7 Tasmania Foxes in Tasmania - Introduction   Foxes pose a significant threat to Tasmania’s biodiversity and agricultural sector. The potential cost of an established fox population has been estimated at over $20 million annually, with […]
  • FXFS6 Fox Advances in the molecular ecology of foxes - Introduction   Foxes are highly secretive and cryptic animals. They are wary of humans, highly mobile and occur at relatively low densities across the landscape. These factors make the collection […]
  • Foxes_on_fence PestSmart Factsheet: Fox Bounties - Bounty systems offer financial incentives to hunt and destroy pest animals. Bounty systems offer what appears to be a simple solution to pest animal problems by providing financial rewards to […]
  • Fox – humaneness matrix - Matrix showing the relative humaneness of fox control methods. The ‘humaneness’ of a pest animal control method refers to the overall welfare impact that the method has on an individual […]
  • Fox1 PestSmart Factsheet: European Red Fox - Biology and Ecology: Although 3 colour morphs (red, silver or black and cross) are generally recognised worldwide, the red morph is most  common in Australia. In general, throat and abdomen […]

 

 


Act

STEP 1

Understand your fox problem

STEP 2

Set objectives & develop plan

STEP 3

Choose your strategy

STEP 4

Control and monitor

There are many reasons to control foxes; for example, to protect  native wildlife in your area, improve lamb survival on your property,  help your neighbour out, reduce the risk of fox-borne diseases such as mange or tapeworm, or prevent the killing of your backyard  chooks. However, fox control is not something you do after the damage  starts. Foxes are widespread and numerous across the landscape.  They are highly mobile and efficient breeders, and can quickly move  in and recolonise areas where fox numbers have been reduced. ‘One-off’ or reactionary control programs may kill a few foxes in the short term but there is little change in fox population numbers and  the level of fox damage over the long term.

The solution is an integrated fox management plan which takes a  long term, landscape approach to controlling the impact of foxes.  Integrated fox management is a planned approach, with clear aims,  realistic levels of management, and the ability to monitor and  evaluate the outcomes. You take advantage of the fox biology ‘weak  spots’, and use your resources more efficiently and effectively,  resulting in a long term impact on foxes and the damage they cause  and maximising the outcomes for the prey species.

Generally, no single strategy or control technique will completely  remove foxes from an area, so integrated fox management relies on  a combination of strategies and techniques to keep on top of the fox problem.

Standard Operating Procedures – fox control

  • PestSmart_logo GEN003: Trapping using soft net traps - Soft net traps consist of a flexible metal frame and netting and/or bag which collapses over the animal when triggered. Soft net traps rely on entanglement to secure and hold […]
  • AlfManciagli_farmdog GEN002: The care & management of dogs used in the control of pest animals - Dogs are used for a range of pest animal control operations. This procedure provides advice on first aid and basic care for dogs used in these situations. It is written […]
  • PestSmart_logo GEN001: Methods of euthanasia - The word euthanasia means an easy death and should be regarded as an act of humane killing with the minimum of pain, fear and distress. Euthanasia of a range of […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX006: Trapping of foxes using cage traps - The introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has a significant impact on native fauna and agricultural production. Fox control methods include lethal baiting, trapping, shooting, den fumigation, den destruction and […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX005: Trapping of foxes using padded-jaw traps - The introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has a significant impact on native fauna and agricultural production. Fox control methods include lethal baiting, trapping, shooting, den fumigation, den destruction and […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX004: Fumigation of fox dens using carbon monoxide - The introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has a significant impact on native fauna and agricultural production. Fox control methods include lethal baiting, trapping, shooting, den fumigation, den destruction and […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX003: Ground shooting of foxes - Shooting of foxes is undertaken by government vertebrate pest control officers, landholders and professional or experienced amateur shooters. Although shooting may reduce the local number of foxes or problem animals, […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX002: Aerial baiting of foxes with 1080 - Poisoning with sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) is used to minimise the impact of the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) on native fauna and agricultural livestock. Lethal baiting is considered to […]
  • fox-placeholder FOX001: Ground baiting of foxes with sodium fluoroacetate (1080) - Poisoning with sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) is used to minimise the impact of the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes on native fauna and agricultural production. Lethal baiting is considered to […]
  • fox-placeholder Model code of practice for the humane control of foxes - The aim of this code of practice is to provide information and recommendations to vertebrate pest managers responsible for the control of foxes. It includes advice on how to choose […]

 

 


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Last updated: June 30, 2016