The European Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) is an introduced pest animal that causes extensive harm to our natural environment and are known to inhabit natural and urban areas throughout the Shire. Predation by the Red Fox has contributed significantly to declines and extinctions of many native animals in Australia and are one of the biggest threats to our native wildlife today.
Fox Control Program
In order to reduce the negative effects of foxes on the environment, Sutherland Shire Council employ an extensive fox control program.
Our fox control program includes:
- Surveys and studies of fox population and breeding viability.
- Production of educational material, workshops and media briefings.
- Implementing trapping, den fumigation, fox detection dogs, habitat modification, as well as shooting and baiting control operations in appropriate circumstances.
- Radio tracking and infrared cameras to monitor the movement of foxes and to identify any possible dispersion into new areas.
- Assist with fox research programs.
- Coordinate a fox management program in line with regional pest animal plans with National Parks & Wildlife Service, Local Land Services, private land owners and other councils and bodies.
Due to the Sutherland Shire being a highly urban area with limited suitable sites to safely and legally conduct fox control programs, our available options are limited. Although pest animal management is extremely difficult in urban areas Sutherland Shire Council currently employ all available methods of fox control in all available areas within the Sutherland Shire and have no further options for fox control at this time.
Fox baiting: Sutherland Shire Council has partnered with Greater Sydney Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Services and private property owners to manage foxes and protect endangered native animals on the Kurnell Peninsula and Lucas Heights Conservation Area. As part of this program 1080 fox baits are placed for a few weeks each year in key areas to protect endangered native wildlife, such as migratory shorebirds and koalas, from predation by foxes. 1080 baiting is a widely used and approved method by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
Extreme care and planning is taken to ensure 1080 baits are not laid near any of Sutherland Shire Council’s off-lead dog exercise areas and every bait station is subject to a risk assessment completed by an authorised control officer from Local Land Services to ensure its location is safe and fulfils all legal requirements under the pesticides control order. Any location where baits are placed are extensively signposted and surrounding residents are notified via letter with a map of the locations and also via an advertisement in the Leader.
For more information on 1080 visit: https://pestsmart.org.au/1080-poison-baiting-facts/
What Residents Can Do
Foxes are very difficult to trap and methods of poison baiting are not acceptable in urban environments where domestic dogs can be harmed by baits. In the majority of cases, effort is best put into managing the impact of foxes.
The following management tips may help:
- Do not leave pet food out overnight
- Keep chickens in fox proof enclosures and ensure they are housed in these at night, it is the responsibility of residents to keep chickens safe from predators. For more information on how to fox proof your chicken coop attend a “Keeping Chooks Workshop” or follow the link http://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Residents/Animals/Keeping-Chickens
- Report sightings/ attacks to Fox Scan to assist with valuable nationwide data collection
- Never feed foxes
- Keep all bins covered
- Do not feed native wildlife as it makes them more vulnerable to predators
- Block entry points to drains and under buildings. (Use permeable material (eg mesh/wire)
- Reduce the cover given by weeds
- Turn outside lighting off at night to prevent attracting insects
- Report any illegal shooting or inhumane treatment to Police
Sutherland Shire Council are aware of foxes occurring in all areas of the Sutherland Shire and do not require reported sightings to assist with the fox control program. All fox sightings and attacks on domestic chickens/ pets should instead be reported on Fox Scan, a pest animal mapping tool that is used to collate data on pest animals across Australia. By reporting to Feral Scan you are greatly assisting government agencies gather valuable data to identify key areas in need of fox control and funding.
For more information on Feral Scan visit: https://www.pestsmart.org.au/feralscan/
Report a Fox to Feral Scan: https://www.feralscan.org.au/foxscan/map.aspx
Report the following to Council: Fox den locations.
Policies and documents
Pest Animal Species and Wildlife Protection Policy
Enquiries can be directed to Invasive Species Officer on 9710 0333 or firstname.lastname@example.org