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Feral cat and fox control at Scotia
Feral cats and foxes occur at high densities across the Murray Darling basin.
At Scotia, AWC has established the largest fox and cat-free area on mainland Australia. An area of 8,000 hectares is feral-free. There has been only one incursion of a fox since the property was purchased in 2002 – that fox was shot within days of accessing the feral-free area. The feral-free area provides a refuge within which wild self-sustaining populations of 5 species of endangered mammals, including the Bilby and the Numbat, have been re-established. These species are all listed as extinct in NSW: they do not occur in any NSW National Park because of the impact of foxes and cats.
Outside the feral-free area, AWC field staff implement a range of fox control measures:
- The use of M44’s, which are a spring-loaded bait station capable of being triggered only by foxes.
- Standard baiting for foxes using meat baits and chicken eggs.
Baiting is not typically an effective form of feral cat control. At Scotia, we use a range of traps to catch cats including cage traps and leghold traps. More importantly, AWC is undertaking detailed research across our network of sanctuaries (for example, our work at Mornington) to develop more effective, landscape-scale control of feral cats.
- In 2014, 37 foxes and 10 cats were removed from Scotia.