NEWS

Three-year fox control program to help protect vulnerable turtles

Gladstone Regional Council is committed to protecting our region’s environment and ecosystems and one of those initiatives is the implementation of the CQ Coastal Fox Control Program.

The CQ Coastal Fox Control Program will see Gladstone Regional Council team up with the Fitzroy Basin Association, Livingstone Shire Council and the Queensland Government’s Parks and Wildlife team in order to protect turtle nests from fox predation.

Gladstone Region Councillor Darryl Branthwaite said the program involves removing the European red fox in a safe and humane manner.

“The program aims to remove foxes from coastal areas to reduce the number of turtle nests being dug up each season,” Councillor Branthwaite said.

“The program will run seasonally for three years, commencing from September 2021, involving fox control from September during fox den season and again from October through to March to monitor turtle nests during their nesting and hatching season.

“The program will involve the engagement of a fox den detection dog and handler, with the use of den fumigation, to locate and fumigate active fox dens near turtle rookeries.”

Cr Branthwaite said the program will involve collaboration with neighbouring Council’s and environmental volunteer groups to monitor turtle nests.

“The den detection dog will also play an integral role in the success of the program, as it is highly trained in target species including foxes, wild dogs and feral cats across many landscapes,” he said.

“The European red fox has played a major part in the decline of ground-nesting birds, small to medium sized mammals and turtles since its introduction to Australia in the mid-1800s.

“It’s encouraging to know that similar turtle conservation projects undertaken at Mon Repos in the Bundaberg Region and throughout the Capricorn Coast have been completed with great success.

“Our region is home to many turtle nesting beaches including at Agnes Water, Lilley’s Beach, Wild Cattle Island, Curtis Island and Facing Island – so it’s of vital importance we protect them.”

Cr Branthwaite added that clearly identifiable signs will be placed at all entrances to notify beach users about the program.

“While the program is underway it’s important for all residents and visitors to these areas to be mindful of the signage that will be in place and to ensure their pets do not roam,” he said.

The Central Queensland Fox Control Program is funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments as part of the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative.

Visit www.gladstone.qld.gov.au/wildlife or call 4970 0700 for more information about the program.

Source: GRC

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