Community out-foxed

Landcare supporting a community led fox trapping program in the Blue Mountains

Community out-foxed

Landcare supporting a community led fox trapping program in the Blue Mountains

Taking Action -


The issue

One landholder championed the idea of establishing a community fox control program, due to the significance of the local area being on (Endangered Ecological Community) Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest, known habitat of the Greater Glider. The LLC sought interest from neighbours for involvement in this program and an initial group of approx eight landholders came together to discuss the options. A community fox trapping group was formed, namely Bilpin Feral Animal Management Group (BFAMG). BFAMG had biodiversity and agricultural priorities for trapping their local pest, the fox. Other group particulars were formalised and resources were sought out.

The solution

A small grant was obtained by Greater Sydney Local Land Services and an initial ten fox traps were also donated by the GSLLS to start the Program. Regular meetings were held with the group to educate them on the Standard Operating Procedures for a pest control program of this type. Traps were built and set, with motion-sensing cameras. Although many foxes (and native animals) were caught on the cameras, a minimal number of foxes were actually caught. Three larger traps were then built to address trap shy animals. Larger traps had better results elsewhere.

The impact

The smaller traps proved ineffective and time consuming, and the group waxed and waned. Larger traps were not installed as they were too heavy to manouver. As a potential solution a Trapping workshop was organised by GSLLS, which did encourage the BFAMG members, and others. Uptake rates of the skills taught at this workshop has not been followed up yet. However, a great and positive impact was achieved with the use of the cameras set up for motion sensing on the traps, which resulted in the landholders capturing images of an amazing array of native animals, that they didn't otherwise know existed on their properties.

Key facts

  • The community must be involved in the issue of feral animal control
  • The part time capacity of an LLC with other working demands, was not enough to adequately support a program of this kind
  • Fox trapping is an exhaustive activity for community members
  • Motion sensing cameras capture pictures of animals not seen before by landholders

Project Partners