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HEN foxes attack vulner-
able livestock such as
new-born lambs, farmers
can be devastated from the resulting
To maximise control, it's best to
use as many options as possible.
The Adelaide and Mount Lofty
Ranges Natural Resources
Management Board says one option
is for landholders to work together
as a group.
The Board's North Para District
Officer David Hughes said getting
neighbours to work with one anoth-
er had always worked.
"This ensures fox control work is
spread across the district, is timely
and continuous to protect livestock
or native fauna during vulnerable
periods such as just after their
birth," he said.
"Timing is also important as lambs
are most vulnerable during their
spring breeding season."
Mr Hughes said one of the sim-
plest control options was to deter
foxes from establishing.
Generally foxes use a hole bur-
rowed below ground to breed in,
but they can also use cavities under
"Remove or thin-out dense vegeta-
tion, get rid of piles of materials
such as timber, bricks and hard rub-
bish so that they cannot use them to
found then fill-in the entrance using
rocks or wire to make it difficult to
reopen," Mr Hughes said.
Another option is to fumigate with
carbon monoxide gas cartridges.
Fumigation is used on accessible
underground fox dens, targeting any
foxes present. It is best used during
the spring breeding season when
there is a likelihood of cubs being in
This option should only be used
away from enclosed areas such as
domestic buildings and sheds, and
only by a suitably qualified or expe-
Poisoning with sodium fluoroac-
etate, 1080, can also be considered.
It is the only poison registered for
fox control in South Australia. Foxes
are extremely susceptible to this poi-
son but because of the risk of poi-
soning other animals such as dogs,
its use is highly regulated.
The poison cannot be used on
properties less than 5 hectares in
size, or in high-risk situations such
as the metropolitan, urban or urban
fringe areas including within 500
meters of dwellings.
Landholders can only access 1080
through local NRM Boards.
The Invasive Animals Cooperative
Research Centre is currently work-
ing on developing better and more
humane methods of fox control to
reduce broad-scale fox populations.
"On average, a fox will produce
three to six cubs at a time, but only
a few reach maturity," Mr Hughes
"Cubs generally appear in late
spring and once independent, dis-
perse to find their own territory the
"They can live up to eight years in
the wild, but in urban fringe areas,
the average is about 18 to 24
months with road kills being a
major cause of death. When a fox
dies, another may move into its ter-
Foxes were first introduced into
Australia in the 1870s and have
spread to become a major vertebrate
pest and threat to livestock, small
native mammals, birds and reptiles
in townships, agricultural and pas-
The fox is a declared animal under
the Natural Resources Management
Act 2004 and it is the responsibility
of property owners to control them.
It is also illegal to keep foxes as pets.
• Need to know more?
www.amlrnrm.sa.gov.au or 08 8273
Foxes were first introduced into Australia in the 1870s and have spread rapidly
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