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Volunteers target foxes at Kerang

Friday 2 August, 2013

Parks Victoria and Field and Game Australia are working together to target foxes in the wetlands and wildlife reserves around Kerang as part of an ongoing pest animal control plan.

On 10-11 August, volunteers from Field and Game Australia will be conducting a fox drive through several wetlands in an effort to reduce populations of feral animals inhabiting public land.

Ranger in Charge Peter Foster said working with volunteers on the fox control program is important in the ongoing management of wetlands.

“Pest animal control is fundamental for the protection and conservation of Victoria’s parks and reserves,” said Mr Foster.

“Parks Victoria has a highly successful partnership with Field and Game Australia, who help us to manage populations of feral animals including foxes in the Kerang wetlands and across the state.

“This highly regulated animal control program will reduce the impact of feral predators on native fauna as well as reduce predation on livestock on adjoining land.

“Foxes are voracious predators. Each fox consumes around 180kg of live food each year and a significant proportion of that will be native small mammals so programs like this make a real difference to the reserves and their neighbours,” he said.

The main areas included in the fox drive are the Koorangie Marshes, Lake Bael Bael, Yassom Swamp, Hird Swamp, Johnson Swamp and McDonald Swamp.

“Public access will be closed over the weekend in the interests of protecting the safety of the public and of volunteers involved in the fox drive,” said Mr Foster.

According to Field and Game Australia Chief Executive Officer Rod Drew, members of the hunting organisation devote thousands of hours on a voluntary basis each year to help to eradicate pests.

“Field and Game Australia is a leading hunting and conservation organisation that continues to make a significant contribution to pest animal eradication in Australia through on-going fox drives on private and public land,” said Mr Drew.

“Fox hunting continues to be a popular activity among members, and local branches host regular fox drives in a co-ordinated effort to rid the state of its most persistent pest.

“Last year, just short of 1300 foxes were removed by branches in three different states,” he said.

“Fox drives are vital to the ongoing battle against pest animals and complement existing management strategies and baiting programs,” he said.

The program with Field and Game Australia at Kerang complements other control works including baiting and harbor control undertaken in conjunction with the North Central Catchment Management Authority, Gannawarra Shire Council and local landholders.

The ongoing program will also target other pest species such as rabbits and feral cats which pose a threat to the environment and native animals in the wetlands.

Signage will be erected at reserve entrances to inform the public of the closure over the weekend.

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