100 landholders' gates open for Baiting for Biodiversity program
Since Yorke Peninsula’s Baiting for Biodiversity (BfB) program commenced in 2008, impressive outcomes have been achieved.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Sustainable Landscape Ranger Van Teubner said landholders and Northern and Yorke staff have observed generational benefits to local biodiversity and agriculture as a result of landscape-scale fox control on Yorke Peninsula.
“With increased lamb survival rates being reported and a continuing rise in sightings of rare and endangered native species – tammar wallaby, heath goanna, echidna and malleefowl – there is a strong indication that the landscape-scale approach has contributed significantly to reducing the impact of the European fox,“ Mr Teubner said.
“Landholder and community support and engagement has been critical to enabling such an ambitious landscape-scale approach to fox management, with the program now covering over 100,000 hectares of land on the Southern Yorke Peninsula across the Hundreds of Warrenben, Carribie, Coonarie, Para Wurlie and Moorowie.”
Mr Teubner said that the outstanding results already achieved would not have been possible without landholder involvement to undertake widespread fox control on southern Yorke Peninsula.
“The benefits to lambs and threatened species are an outcome of the increased pressure on predator numbers across the project area, “Mr Teubner said.
“The program also paves the way for more exciting landscape scale management opportunities, such as the much anticipated ‘Great Southern Ark: the rewilding of southern Yorke Peninsula’ project that is currently being developed by a range of stakeholder groups.”
During the spring baiting round, which took place from 3 September to 3 November, 28 individual landholders worked alongside Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff to lay 2387 tuna and kangaroo baits. Of the baits laid, 1430 (60%) were taken, which is a significant uptake rate, largely attributed to vixens with young dependent pups having greater food requirements.
Mr Teubner said twice yearly baiting has been shown in studies to keep fox population densities low all year round.
“Combining a spring baiting round with an autumn round has a compounded effect on the local fox population by reducing the number of the young foxes reaching independence and maturity,” he said.
The next baiting round will occur in late February 2019. Natural Resources Northern and Yorke staff will work together with landholders to bait properties within the target area.
Interested landholders are encouraged to contact Natural Resources Northern and Yorke on 8841 3400 or email DEW.NRNY@sa.gov.au.