Parklands community effort

protects Marlee Reserve

In response to community reports of fox activity in the area surrounding Marlee Reserve, the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group coordinated the placement of 13 fox traps on private property.

The thirteen traps were delivered and set up in time to support a trapping program centred on the Marlee Reserve run by the City of Mandurah.

Marlee Reserve is recognised as one of the most important conservation reserves in Mandurah. The reserve is home to a wide range of species, including the Brush-tailed phascogale, quenda, and the long-necked turtle.

Efforts by community members and the PHBG extended the control area to over 550 hectares across the Parklands area with the program resulting in the removal of two lactating foxes and three feral cats.

The fox traps were delivered prior to the trapping program commenced to allow them to settle into the environment. Private landholders wired the traps open and used lures to increase the likelihood of success.

“Foxes can be trap-shy,” said Anneliese Bone, feral animal officer, for the PHBG.

“We have heard of a landholder trapping a fox within an hour of setting up a cage trap but generally the fox will check the cage a few times before entering.

“To entice the fox to take a look in the cage, a lure is used. A good example of a lure is cat food.

“The process can take a few weeks or even longer if you are trying to trap a mature fox.”

The PHBG is keen to set up similar coordinated community programs in 2020 for foxes and other declared pests.

Caroline Knight, Deputy Mayor of the City of Mandurah, is an advocate of collaborative efforts.

“Coordination between the City of Mandurah, the Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group and landholders, enabled a broader reach and a greater outcome; it’s something we hope to replicate in other key areas.’

“Marlee is one of the most important conservation reserves in Mandurah and prized by our community,” Ms Knight said.

The PHBG can support landholders of all property sizes with their control of foxes through options such as trap hire and restricted chemical permit application subsidies. It can also help landholders connect with local shooting organisations.

Collected data can be used before and after control programs to show the positive impact coordinated community efforts have on decreasing the number of feral animals in an area.

If you, or your neighbours are noticing foxes contact the Group by emailing Fox activity, damage and control activities can also be recorded using the FeralScan resource. This resource helps stakeholders come together to plan coordinated control across fence lines and tenure.