Feral fighters return for spring.

INITIATIVE SET TO HELP: The Feral Fighter program, by South East Local Land Services, aims to encourage landholders to undertake coordinated and strategic fox and wild dog baiting. Photo: Yass Tribune
INITIATIVE SET TO HELP: The Feral Fighter program, by South East Local Land Services, aims to encourage landholders to undertake coordinated and strategic fox and wild dog baiting. Photo: Yass Tribune

South East Local Land Services launched its Feral Fighters program across the south east region of NSW in autumn this year. The program aims to encourage landholders to undertake coordinated and strategic fox and wild dog baiting.

Group baiting is one way to strategically target pest animal populations in a specific geographic location and is an effective way to reduce the rate of re-invasion.

During the autumn Feral Fighters program landholders participants were given access to free 1080 and Pindone training and up to 40 fresh meat baits per landholder were provided free of charge. There were some conditions attached to this offer, but generally it was simply a matter of completing a registration form.

Due to the success of the Feral Fighters autumn program, South East Local Land Services has recently launched a spring offensive.

Some might think that this is an inopportune time to bait foxes, however research indicates that around the time a vixen whelps (from mid-August to mid-September) her nutritional requirements significantly rise. So now is the time to bait.

Some landholders have reported they are still seeing fox activity after they have undertaken baiting.

Many areas of NSW are reporting high fox numbers. There is no easy way to quantify these numbers. Anecdotal information does suggest there are high numbers of foxes being shot.

The possible reasons for an increase in fox activity could be due to the trend in recent years of landholders reducing the amount of baits that they lay. Also, invasion of foxes from other areas can occur quickly at the end of a baiting program. In as little as two weeks foxes begin to acquire new territory when it becomes available.

In the tablelands landscape research indicates there are four to seven foxes per square kilometer (or 100 hectares). The Yass, Boorowa and parts of the Upper Lachlan local government areas cover approximately 8,700 square kilometres. This would equate to 32,000 to 56,000 foxes.

To register for the spring Feral Fighters campaign or for more information on pest animal control, please feel free to contact South East Local Land Services Yass on (02) 6118 7700 or visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au