The Shoalhaven Fox Control Program has hit a significant milestone, with 500 foxes shot by its volunteer shooters.
The program has been running since August 2018, using a combination of fox control methods including baiting, cage trapping and shooting.
Foxes in our environment are one of the main causes of Australia's dubious record of having the worst extinction rate of mammals worldwide.
Locally, shooters have photographed foxes that where shot while eating native animals including a bandicoot, carpet python, brush-tailed possum, sugar glider, young wallaby, king parrot, frogs, eel and wood ducks.
The program has 17 volunteer shooters that keep fox numbers down on private properties across the Shoalhaven. In addition to shooting, the program has had a total of 1339 baits taken, and 56 foxes trapped.
"Since the volunteers have been controlling foxes on our property, we have noticed a marked increase in eastern long-necked turtles, purple swamp hens and wood ducks," Cambewarra landholder, Sal Bruderlin said.
The program is totally community run and comes under the umbrella of the Shoalhaven Landcare Association. The Shoalhaven Fox Control Program is a unique program and the only one of its kind in Australia.
"Our dedicated shooters complement our baiting program and are a vital tool in targeting foxes that may be bait shy or in areas where baiting is not possible due to the proximity of houses or presence of farm dogs," Peter Jirgens, Northern Shoalhaven Program Leader said.
Souther Shoalhaven Program Leader Ron Cowlishaw encouraged Shoalhaven landholders who are shooting foxes on their property to get in contact and join the program.
'This is so we can monitor where the fox populations are and to be more strategic with our baiting and trapping programs," he said.
Any landholders interested in joining the Shoalhaven Fox Control Program can do so by registering on the Shoalhaven Fox Control Project website.