Foxes on the run as impact felt

THE impact from the release of foxes in this country by early European settlers has been profound.

The canine pests have decimated or even made extinct numerous populations of small animal and bird species.

Now it seems foxes are on the run in Tasmania and could pose a threat to the island's abundant native wildlife, according to a new study which said DNA tests on animal droppings have proved foxes exist in small numbers on the island.

Various issues bombard us from the pages and screens of different media outlets: global warming, carbon taxes, and coal seam gas for example, with in varying degrees of crisis calls.

A report published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology said foxes could be a serious threat to a pristine Tasmanian environment as the previous extinction wave was to Australia's mainland fauna.

Yet few if any people want to face up to this issue.

Farmers are encouraged to bait as part of strategies to increase numbers of lambs and small programs are run by Livestock Health and Pest Authorities in state forests and reserves.

Anyone driving around the region early in the morning or late in the evening will see large numbers of foxes - cubs and adults along roadsides scrounging for a feed on roadkill.

Increasing populations of rabbits will help sustain the population of foxes.

Something needs to be done, but alas, it seems few people seem to be engaged in this important conservation issue.

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