The impact of fox control on the relative abundance of forest mammals in East Gippsland, Victoria

  • Published source details Dexter N. & Murray A. (2009) The impact of fox control on the relative abundance of forest mammals in East Gippsland, Victoria. Wildlife Research, 36, 252-261.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove/control non-native mammals

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Remove/control non-native mammals

    A replicated, paired sites, controlled, before-and-after study in 1997–2003 in six forest sites in Australia (Dexter & Murray 2009) found that controlling invasive red foxes Vulpes vulpes increased overall native mammal abundance and abundances of three out of five species. The average number of trapped mammals was higher in fox-control (11.0) than in non-control sites (5.2). Average numbers of individuals trapped/session were higher in fox-control than in non-control sites for long-nosed potoroos Potorous tridactylus (5.1 vs 2.3), southern brown bandicoots Isoodon obesulus (2.3 vs 1.2) and common brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula (3.1 vs 1.0), but not for ringtail possums Pseudocheirus peregrinus or long-nosed bandicoots Perameles nasuta (numbers not given). Increases in abundance over time were found for long-nosed potoroos and ringtail possums, but not for southern brown bandicoots, common brushtail possums or long-nosed bandicoot (results from statistical models). In 1999–2003, foxes were controlled in three out of six forest sites (7,000–16,500 ha) and no control was conducted in the remaining three sites. From February 1999, baits (Foxoff Econbaits, containing 3 mg of 1080 poison) were buried at 15 cm depth every four weeks, at 1-km intervals. At each site, native mammals were surveyed over seven nights, along an 18-km transect, using 60 baited traps, set at 300-m intervals. Trapping was conducted twice before fox-control started (1997–1998) and 12 times after control started (July 1999–May 2003).

    (Summarised by: Ricardo Rocha)

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