Shoalhaven Fox Control Project

Landholders and volunteers working together to control foxes in the Shoalhaven

Shoalhaven Fox Control Project

Landholders and volunteers working together to control foxes in the Shoalhaven

Taking Action -


The issue

Since their introduction 160 years ago, foxes have become Australia's number one predator and have contributed to the extinction of many species of bird and small mammals. Foxes are nocturnal and territorial. They are highly efficient hunters and resourceful scavengers and may kill more prey than they can consume (ie surplus killing behaviour).

In the Shoalhaven, fox scats have demonstrated they predate upon sugar gliders, eastern pygmy possums ring-tailed possums, wombats, and long-nosed bandicoots. Photographic evidence also proves they hunt carpet pythons, frogs, king parrots and wallabies locally (See image right of fox carrying swamp wallaby courtesy T. Bagnall).

Foxes also impact agriculture by killing calves and lambs as well as spreading disease. 

The solution

The project team identified an area bordered by national parks (with active fox control underway), the Shoalhaven River and coastline and implemented methodology to engage landholders and support them with volunteers and resources. The Berry to Budgong Fox Control project established and maintained 60 bait stations on 13 properties by volunteers. This project was initiated with funds from various sources including a fundraising concert and private donations. Ongoing promotion was key to encourage enquiries and renewed volunteer and landholder participation.

The impact

Since the start of the project, 300 baits have been taken; 137 foxes shot; and 2 foxes trapped. There are currently over 100 baiting, shooting and trapping stations across 28 properties in the Shoalhaven. 40 volunteers help to bait and monitor the stations as a support to participating landholders. Fox sightings and baits taken have reduced significantly since the start of this project in the Cambewarra area, indicating a decline in fox numbers. 

The project is now expanding to south of the Shoalhaven River in an area covering 550 square kilometres from Nowra to Wandanian. This will support the existing fox control at and around Booderee National Park where Eastern Quolls were recently re-introduced to the mainland from Tasmania. 

Key facts

  • Landholders are supported by volunteers.
  • Project promotion is key for generating new landholder and volunteer participation.
  • Monitoring including using remote sensing cameras is important to determine effectiveness.

Project Partners