To monitor the abundance of foxes, the King Parrot Catchment Fox Control Project (KPCFCP) has been running an annual program using remote sensor cameras on the properties of KPCFCP participants. This year we had 51 cameras installed on 39 properties.
Compared with 2018 the latest round of monitoring showed fox numbers are stable on the properties in the lower King Parrot Creek catchment (Strath Creek) and encouragingly down by about 35% in the upper catchment (Kinglake). A concerning result was an increase in fox numbers by around 50% in the middle catchment (Flowerdale).
These results were not unexpected as the Kinglake and Strath Creek areas have had the highest proportion of KPCFCP participants involved in our baiting programs or actively undertaking other methods of fox control. However Flowerdale is an area where it appears the actual control of foxes needs to increase.
The monitoring also recorded a variety of native animals that are vulnerable to predation by foxes. Three observations of the endangered Brush-tailed Phascogales were recorded on camera around Strath Creek.
We had 35 observations of Lyrebirds on Kinglake properties; and 35 observations of Long-nosed Bandicoots in Kinglake. Up from 11 in 2018.
We also noticed a good increase in the upper catchment of other native mammals vulnerable to foxes including Bobuck, the native Bush Rat and Agile Antichinus.
Interesting ground dwelling birds photographed included Lewins Rail (a threatened species), Bassian Thrush, Olive Whistler and Satin Bowerbird.
The camera monitoring also showed up other pest species in the environment such as feral cats and deer.
To find out more about the King Parrot Catchment Fox Control Project phone Chris Cobern on 0413 855 490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org