Monitoring is crucial to any pest plant or pest animal control program. This year 40 cameras were deployed on properties of participants in the King Parrot Catchment Fox Control Project (KPCFCP) as part of the KPCFCP’s annual monitoring program.
This included 16 locations in the Upper Catchment, 14 in the Mid Catchment and 10 in the Lower Catchment.
Results show that fox numbers are well down in the Upper Catchment (Kinglake West area), with foxes detected on the cameras 107 times in 2021 and only 70 times in 2022.
In the Mid Catchment (Flowerdale area) fox numbers were also down considerably from 91 in 2021 to 34 in 2022.
Fox numbers have remained stable in the Lower Catchment (Strath Creek area).
The reduction in fox numbers was very noticeable on properties that are involved in our fox baiting programs.
Most encouraging to see was the continued increase in many of our small to medium size mammals and ground dwelling birds that are particularly vulnerable to fox predation.
Observations of Long-nosed Bandicoots increased from 53 in 2021 to 102 in 2022, on eight separate properties in the upper and mid catchment.
The endangered Brush-tailed Phascogale was a rare site on our cameras when we first started our monitoring programs. This year we captured 32 photographs on nine separate properties.
Rabbit numbers were also down across the catchment. Possibly indicating that foxes DON’T control rabbits, but landowners can. 335 photographed across the catchment in 2021 and 141 in 2022.
Other wildlife photographed included Echidnas, Swamp Wallaby, Bobuck (Mountain Brush-tailed Possum), Sugar Glider, Rakali, Ringtail Possum, Wombat, Grey Kangaroo, the native Australian Bush Rat, Agile and Dusky Antechinus, and pest species including feral cats, Sambar and Fallow Deer.
Some interesting ground dwelling birds were detected including the threatened Lewins Rail, Lyrebirds were photographed at 5 separate properties, Eastern Whipbird, Olive Whistlers, many Bassian Thrush in the upper and mid catchments, and White-winged Choughs were common in Strath Creek.
For more information about participating in this project contact KPCFCP Project Officer Chris Cobern on 0413 855 490 or email@example.com