Feral fox

In the Northern Territory (NT) foxes are found in the arid areas of Central Australia and the Barkly regions.

They appear to be moving towards the Top End and are now common as far north as Tennant Creek.

Impacts

The European red fox preys on many native animals and is a serious threat to biodiversity.

In the NT one of the last known wild populations of the rufous hare-wallaby was wiped out by one fox. 

The bilby may also be at risk of extinction if foxes continue moving north into the bilby habitats.

Management

There are several ways to control fox numbers in the NT.

Poisoning

Foxes scavenge for food so baiting with 1080 is a successful way to control fox numbers.

Burying bait is also effective as foxes will dig up the baits. Burying is a good way to avoid killing other animals such as dingoes, which will not scavenge for bait.

Shooting

Shooting is not very effective in reducing fox numbers. Fox drives may remove a large number of foxes from a small area, but these are expensive and time consuming.

You shouldn't hunt foxes with dogs as it is inhumane.

Trapping

Trapping is hard work and time consuming. You must not use steel-jawed traps as they are inhumane and banned in most states and territories, including the NT.

Soft-catch traps with padded rubber jaws and leg snares are are less damaging and humane options.

Den fumigation

This is a good local control method when cubs are born, but it is difficult as dens are hard to find.

Fencing

Fencing can keep foxes out of areas that are important to agriculture or conservation. Foxes can be good at scaling fences even when they are electrified.

Other farming practices

Some farming methods can reduce the impacts of foxes on properties. This may include changing the time of lambing and the location of lambing paddocks so that the chance of fox attacks is reduced.

Controlling rabbit numbers can reduce the number of foxes in the area.

Last updated: 28 November 2017