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The European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) was introduced into Australia in the 1800s for recreational hunting and is now found throughout the country, including Sydney. Foxes are highly efficient hunters, resourceful scavengers and cause a significant threat to Australia's native animals.
Under NSW legislation, all landowners with foxes on their property, including councils, are responsible for their control.
Foxes have played a major role in the decline of many native species including ground-nesting birds, small to medium sized mammals, and reptiles. They are also known to distribute weed seeds across the region, can spread diseases, and are a threat to backyard chickens.
Lansdowne Reserve is home to a diversity of wildlife, including birds, frogs, turtles, possums and echidnas. Within the reserve, portions of land have been set aside as environmental protection areas. In order to protect these areas, and the diversity of plants and animals that call the reserve home, fox control is required.
Controlling foxes is very complex in urban areas and requires many different landowners working together. For this reason, Council works closely with neighbouring Councils and State agencies to manage foxes across the region.
In urban areas, a combination of control techniques are required to help reduce fox populations and minimise the damage they cause. Control may involve trapping using cage or padded jaw-traps, den fumigation, baiting or nocturnal firearm culls.
Council has safely and humanely controlled foxes in reserves along the Georges River since 2014. The program has been successfully expanded to include reserves along Cooks River, Wolli Creek and Salt Pan Creek.
In February 2020, Council commenced a fox trapping program at Lansdowne Reserve to reduce fox numbers in sensitive environmental protection areas. The trapping program involves using a combination of cage and padded jaw-traps that are monitored daily by an experienced and licenced contractor. Reserves remain open to the public when traps are deployed with warning signs at entrances and throughout to remind residents to keep to walking paths and keep dogs on leads.
A fox cage-trap loan service will also continue to be offered to residents with problem foxes on private property.
Do not approach any trapped animal. Trapped animals may be aggressive and cause harm if approached. Call Council immediately on 9707 9000 to report any trapped animal. If you observe the animal outside business hours, Council's pest control contractor (Australian Feral Management) can be reached on 1300 669 546.
Fox sightings can be reported to Council via the
FoxScan website. Your information will help to map the distribution of foxes, enabling Council to make better decisions about fox control and management. The mapping of fox sightings, fox damage and their dens is an important step towards regional fox control.
Out and about
For more information, go to the
FeralScan website, the
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website, the
Office of Local Government website, as well as Council's
Responsible pet ownership page.