FOXES & Public Perception

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by moosenoose, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. moosenoose

    moosenoose Legendary

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    I've been hitting a few spots here and there and taking out the odd pest with the rifle. Rabbits, Foxes and the odd Indian Myna (damn those flying rats!) :p

    I’ve got a bit of parkland near me and often take one of the kids with me to walk the dog. Just to break it up a bit I’ll sometimes take a fox whistle out with me and see how many foxes we can get out of the woodwork. The results are actually quite alarming, but what I find more alarming is when you show a photo like this (attached) to most people and mention that it’s a shame I can’t shoot them in these areas is the comment; “what right do you have in killing something like that?? It’s a beautiful creature!! You should leave it alone!” I do agree they are an amazing animal, and yes they are beautiful, but the damage they do to our native wildlife is substantial. Perhaps their impact should be best described as horrific!

    Whilst baiting might be controversial, surely trapping and humane disposal isn’t beyond the realms of possibility? Clearly we have an epidemic on our hands with public perception as yet another hurdle to leap over. It’s really an uphill battle controlling their numbers when they appear to have so many admirers and places of sanctuary where they are able to plunder whatever native wildlife they see fit. Not much point having a fox bounty when you can’t get at em ;) I think I might approach a few land owners to see if I can gain access behind the reserve and lure them out the other side ;)

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. Dutchy88

    Dutchy88 Well-Known Member

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    The amount I have got in in the last few years is quite scary people are a funny breed I've had many people as you have ask how and why would you shoot them the answer is easy one I enjoy hunting and two if people like us don't do it who will people want everything for nothing guaranteed if no one shoot any the next thing people whinge about their killing all the natives. It's like people are happy to go to buy meat and eat it but god forbid they'd have to kill something to eat themselves pathic and sad I think.
     
  3. Gonemad

    Gonemad Well-Known Member

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    They do just as much if not more damage to our natives than cats! We shot 70 foxes this year alone on one property. And come to lamb marking there were lambs with bites and no tails. I think little foxes are so cute being black but the harm they do is underestimated! As foxes aren't native you can seek permits to have them control just like feral cats and dogs. I dislike baiting as its a slow and cruel way to die and natives eat it and suffer as well. Good luck with getting the numbers down. My 3 yr old son got some young silky chooks yesterday and last night the cage had a hole dug under it lucky we double cage them until there cage is completed.
     
  4. ssssnakeman

    ssssnakeman Almost Legendary

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    View attachment 279789 One night two shooters in SA.
    Beautiful animals but not here.
    If it's Feral, it's in Peril.
     

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  5. saintanger

    saintanger Very Well-Known Member

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    they are getting worse, they use to stay in the bush but these days i'v seen the odd one running down my street at 3am.
     
  6. RedFox

    RedFox Very Well-Known Member

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    Foxes are my favourite animals but there is no denying the damage they do to the agricultural industry. They are a pest animal and should be controlled. Although it should be noted that the environmental impact they cause is fairly low. The use the same den for sevaral years and so cause little damage to our native flora. Also there diet is mostly mainly made up of introduced animals, lambs, rabbits, chickens, etc. That being said they aren't particularly fussy and will eat smaller marsupials as well.

    They are more a pest because of the damage they do to agriculture which costs farmers millions of dollars each year.
     
  7. Coppersimon

    Coppersimon Well-Known Member

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    This was in the Illawarra reptiles society news letter this month. Hope the screen shot is clear enough. [​IMG]
     
  8. littlemay

    littlemay Well-Known Member

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    No worries for me, foxes always used to come down and feast on our chooks - and this is in relative suburbia!
     
  9. JasonL

    JasonL Almost Legendary

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    Foxes live in suburbia, that's what they are good at.
     
  10. borntobnude

    borntobnude Guest

    suburban Sydney and we had our two pet peekings taken out by foxes . Then a mate nearby had his chooks raided killed all 5 so he left the bodies for the next night and turned the coop into a trap -- success got it the next night , then spent 3 days on the phone trying to get someone to take it . in the end he had to take it to sutherland council .
    On our recent trip north we found 3 hanging from a tree in between emerald and roma .
     
  11. moosenoose

    moosenoose Legendary

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    Well I live in suburbia and I've seen them running across peoples nature strips late at night without a care in the world :lol: I wonder how they go with cleaning up cats?? Anyone know what would happen in this scenario?
     
  12. Gonemad

    Gonemad Well-Known Member

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    They don't generally harm cats? Only native lizards, snakes, hopping mice, lire birds, haires, quails etc and chooks,lambs, ducks but it seams they don't have much impact!
     
  13. Bananapeel

    Bananapeel Very Well-Known Member

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    As stunning as they are there is no reason why they shouldn't be killed as it is more important to protect the many native species disappearing due to these ferals.
    when we go to a farm each year, we go when the lambs are being born. It's just so horrible seeing a ewe calling for her lamb and hearing no response then searching frantically for it :cry:
    then there's the even worse stories of a cow who is calving unaware of a fox killing the calf during birth. Just horrible. We saw things like this happen quite often. She has fox baits around the fields but out of reach of dogs etc but its just not enough to control the rapidly growing numbers.
     
  14. Radar

    Radar Very Well-Known Member

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    No real specific interaction other then competition between foxes and cats that I'm aware of, could easily be wrong though. They're both mesopredators, Dingos are known to kill them both for 'fun', really the only serious predator they have in australia other than 40 grains of protected hollow-point.
     
  15. outbackstorm

    outbackstorm Active Member

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    Do you have referencing for this? I would think that their impact on native wildlife would be immense! Sure they do prey on lambs, rabbits etc but they are incredibly opportunistic and will even eat grasshoppers. Indeed they have little impact on our flora, its the fauna we are getting worried about. I think the environmental impact they cause is high.

    Below is a shot of two pups that I snapped while doing some field work the other week.
    P1140408.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  16. RedFox

    RedFox Very Well-Known Member

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    I can't find the article I was reading but I have another one which says most of the same thing. I guess I should expand a bit. The majority of a foxes diet is made up of introduced species. But like you said they are opportunistic animals and the area they do the damage to native population is where those native animal have low density populations. For example, Bilbies which are a gorgeous little marsupial are under threat from foxes. They live have low density populations so it only takes a few to be killed to have a devastating effect. Add to that other feral animals such as rabbit which can have a greater effect on populations, and their natural predators.

    But generally they cause more harm to agriculture, as they live in greater numbers around farmland and suburbian areas. I have seen a few dashing around monash uni when I went there at night, no doubt brought in by the rabbits, possums and scraps.

    Foxes and their Impact - Department of Primary Industries

    Anyway they are a pest and should be culled to control the populations. They seem to be in plague proportions at the moment.
     
  17. outbackstorm

    outbackstorm Active Member

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    Thanks for the link, very interesting information. I presume that the gut contents would vary greatly depending on what area you are in. I had the Malleefowl in mind when I was typing my previous post and as you say it is a naturally sparsely distributed animal, hence the removal of a few individuals can be catastrophic, especially when combined with habitat fragmentation.
    I also presume that gut contents would vary thoughout the year. Most farmers attempt to drop their lambs over as narrow band as possible to reduce mortality rates from foxes and crows, as there is a small window of time when a fox is able to overpower a lamb. I don't see how sheep could maintain 20% of a foxes diet throughout the year.
    Anyway, just my speculation. They do seem to be out in force at the moment. There are still some small pups getting around which from memory is quite late in the season. Like all feral pests an integrated control program is necessary to achieve lasting reductions in their populations.
     
  18. moosenoose

    moosenoose Legendary

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    Perhaps without them we'd have a worse rabbit problem? Food for thought.
     
  19. RedFox

    RedFox Very Well-Known Member

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    Possibly but I suppose it would be like voting for the least worst option in an election.
     
  20. -Peter

    -Peter Guest

    Like we would ever have to worry about that...


    I think I will shoot myself...
     
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