To help further protect native birds and animals, including the penguin colony on Middle Island, Council is expanding its fox baiting program.
The usual springtime baiting in key fox activity areas is being complemented with an additional program from May 15 until June 23, 2023 – just prior to the fox breeding season.
Bait will be laid on Council managed land west of Thunder Point, in areas of Lake Pertobe, along the foreshore at Pickering Point and behind the skate park.
Warrnambool City Council Acting Director City Infrastructure Julie Anderson said that a carefully planned and fully compliant fox baiting program was an important measure to kerb the threat posed by foxes.
“Birds and animals native to Warrnambool just aren’t equipped to deal with an introduced apex predator like the European red fox,” she said.
“The reality is that foxes are a threat that will never be eliminated, but it’s important to take steps, like targeted baiting programs, to limit their impact as much as possible.
“We have had positive results with baiting in the past, and the aim is to continue this success with an additional baiting program to further protect our native wildlife, especially the Little Penguin colony on Middle Island.”
Ms Anderson encouraged all pet owners to familiarise themselves with the baited areas and to make sure their animals stay well clear.
“Pets are banned from all baited areas during the baiting program and for four weeks after it finishes,” she said.
“The baited areas will be clearly signed, but we would urge everyone to visit our website and look at our fox baiting map.
“The bait is designed to target foraging carnivores. It is a meat-based bait that will be buried away from any paths, and the location of each piece will be recorded via GPS so staff can remove them at the end of the program.
“The risk of secondary poisoning – a bird or animal being impacted after foraging on a fox carcass – is also very low.
“The poison used is called para-aminopropiophenone, more commonly known as PAPP. As well as being considered more humane than the most common alternative, 1080, there is also the potential for an antidote to be administered if a cat or dog were to ingest it.
“There is only a very short time, about an hour, between an animal eating poison bait and an antidote being effective.
“So if you believe your pet may have been in a baited area and you notice any unusual or uncharacteristic behaviour, especially blue discolouration of the tongue and gums, lethargy and loss of limb function, you need to take it to a vet that carries the antidote straight away.”
Any pet suspected of PAPP poisoning should be taken to:
The Vet Group Wollaston, at 59 Mortlake Road Warrnambool – Phone 5561 6911
The Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic, at 514 Raglan Parade – Phone 5559 0222
Residents who find fox carcasses on their property can contact Council on 5559 4800 to have them removed.