Thursday, March 22, 2018

Invasive Red Fox Extermination in Australia

Red fox up and out a hollow tree bolts past the waiting lurchers.  This and the following photos are from The Daily Mail.

Theses pictures are from NSW Australia where introduced rabbits feed introduced fox, and both destroy native wildlife.

This is not hunting for control: it’s extermination for eradication.

A Wedge-tail Eagle carries off a young fox.


Jennifer said...

Oz and NZ were weak on predators by the time of white settlement. Both suffered invasion by European rodents and lagomorphs followed by explosion of introduced small to medium predators. Does that mean that a systems can be balanced with few, and mostly avian predators, but the resulting ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to introduced species?
Makes me wonder what will happen if attempts to eliminate cats, foxes, stoats, weasels, etc. succeed. Without some draconian involvement of molecular biology, I can't see any way to check rats, mice and rabbits in a system where the mid level predators are almost all avian.

PBurns said...

Rabbits have been nearly wiped out twice by imported disease and CRISPR is likely to be a cure. Australia has always had native rats and mice and native predators too

Jennifer said...

Australia'' native predators? Ok, there's the dingo. Introduced, but long long ago. Not doing so well, except as crossed with farel dogs. The thylocine (spelling?) is probably extinct, and is thought to have been on the decline at the time of white settlement. The other predators are all smaller than your terriers, and many are on the endangered list. NarivN rat species are hardly thriving.
Caliche virus has set rabbit populations back a few times, but it hasn't come close to extinguishing rabbits. r-strategists bounce back very quickly and are good at developing immunity. No way will the cat lovers tolerate measures to create a virus targeting Felix domesticus, and if you target foxes (or weasels and stoats in NZ), cats will fill the niche. Genetic engineered solutions may eventually resolve these problems, but it isn't going to happen quickly, or without a lot of conflict.

PBurns said...

Few more than that.

Salt and freshwater crocodiles.

Over a dozen kinds of poisonous and constrictor snakes.

Wedge-tail eagles, kites, falcons, hawks, osprey, harriers


Tasmanian devils

Various types of quolls (which can be thought of as a marsupial cat)

Goanna lizards of various kinds (some as big as 8 feet)

Humans (always a top-end predator) and the fires they set.

SEveral types of owls,

Jennifer said...

Google mouse plague, rat plague, rabbit plague...all with Australia in the search. Native predators can't cope with the numbers. Quolls are endangered in many (most?) areas, Tassie devil is barely surviving due to disease. Owls, hawks and eagles are around in most places, but nowhere near suffficiently abundant to control introduced pests. Snakes and goannas, likewise, and in some places they're having a hard time due to their tendency to eat Bufo marianis (cane toad). Rabbits are too large for all but the largest species and individuals. Salties and freshies stay near water...very limited area in Oz. They love dogs, but aren't so good at catching mice, rats and rabbits. It's a real mess.