Beach Stone-curlew chick.
Beach Stone-curlew chick.

Region braces for fox baiting

THE annual fox baiting program is about to begin on the North Coast from South Wall at Ballina to Bundjalung National Park south of Evans Head.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Ranger, Holly North, said that foxbaiting will occur in Richmond River Nature Reserve, Broadwater National Park and Bundjalung National Park targeting essential breeding habitat for resident shorebirds, including the Pied Oystercatcher and Beach Stone-curlew.

“The program, a joint initiative of the NPWS, Department of Defence and North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA), aims to increase the breeding success numbers of threatened shorebird populations”, Ms North said.

“1080 baits will be laid in coastal national parks and nature reserves between the Richmond River and 10 Mile Beach in Bundjalung National Park between July 25 and December 16.

“Areas where baited occurs will be signposted, including at the beach access points.

“While 1080 fox baits are designed to kill foxes they can also kill dogs. People should only take their dogs to areas that are designated dog exercise areas."

Ms North said the fox is the Pied Oystercatcher’s main predator, as they seek out clutches of eggs laid in shallow depressions in sand dunes just above the high tide mark. 

“The baiting program aims to reduce fox numbers prior to the Pied Oystercatcher’s breeding season, which begins in August.

“The state population of Pied Oystercatchers is only about 250 individuals and the South Ballina to Iluka population is identified as a state-wide priority in the Fox Threat Abatement Plan.”
 



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