Wednesday Wow

fox silhouette
Image credit: Vulpes vulpes, originally uploaded by Robert Silverwood

I cheated a bit for this one – instead of my usual random trawling through the Wow! image pool I deliberately looked for one with a fox in it, because of the story I heard on the radio about the increasing population of foxes in Sydney and other Australian urban conglomerations. They’re all over the place, following green zones and stormwater drains right onto the beaches and into the national parks.

If only they weren’t so fatal to our small native mammals (there are concerns that a breeding pair might finally have made it to Tasmania, last redoubt of the eastern quoll). Foxes are amazingly adaptable and whenever I have seen them in the wild I’ve been amazed by their beauty as well. But we don’t have the large predators to keep their numbers in check, so baiting it must be (unless we take Professor Dickman’s idea seriously – reintroduce dingoes instead, and use llamas and alpacas as watch animals to protect livestock against the foxes).

Anyway, watch out for your own pets if you’re in an area where foxes are being seen – someone will be putting down baits, guaranteed.

Categories: fun & hobbies

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3 replies

  1. Cute! Ah, totally wrong response, sorry.
    I’d heard of the watch animals approach, but the dingo proposal has me stumped. Between traps practicality and just keeping kitteh in at night, I don’t see how it’d work in areas with lots of dogs.

  2. I’ve only recently heard about llamas as shepherds and the idea is extraordinarily appealing. I love that you have the first comment, Outfox. I live in a semi-rural area where foxes are quite common; pretty disturbing,as even quite numerous native animals, like bandicoot are becoming markedly less common as a result. It was really good to hear that genuine efforts to get to grips with feral animals on Macquarie Island are afoot.

  3. I like the watch-animals idea. A friend lost several of her beautiful little ducks to a fox recently. If only she’d had a llama!
    Watch-animals have worked well in relation to over-enthused domestic cats. My parents have three enormous chooks, and they haven’t lost a pidgeon from the backyard in a long while. Before they got the chooks they were losing them regularly. I don’t think chooks would be enough if there was a fox problem, but it’s the same principle.

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