The Red Card for Foxes and Rabbits program is a community engagement program aimed at increasing the participation of land managers in the control of Foxes.
MARCH 2020 SHOOT TALLY RESULTED IN
Foxes 281 – Rabbits 208 – Cats 18 – Pigs 13
32 Registered Teams – 24 attend the breakfast tally. The hunt started off with perfect weather on Friday which made for a great night of shooting, whereas Saturday night started off raining, stopping early in the night, with gusty winds continuing most of the night – didn’t help too much with landing those perfect shots.
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia WA donates $5 for every cat, and fox culled (up to $20,000 annually) to the
Regional Men’s Health Initiative. The funding raised through the event for the Regional Men’s Health Initiative benefits all rural people. Less foxes, feral pigs, cats and rabbits means farmers can improve their livestock numbers, the destruction of land and reduce the spread of disease as well as take steps towards the protection of native fauna and flora.
Autumn is a good season to target foxes as the animals are starting to move about. Autumn fox control is effective because:
- Young foxes are finding new territory – plenty of foxes seen in paddocks
- Farmers are preparing to lamb and keen to reduce predation
- Paddocks are bare (easy for shoots)
- Nights aren’t too cold for shoots
- Farmers aren’t flat out!
- Not much feed around – increases chance of pests eating baits
- Foxes are highly mobile
Due to the high mobility of foxes (travel up to 15km/night), an effective programme requires maximum participation and approaching control from as many angles as possible. The “Red Card for Rabbits & Foxes” programme has grown since 2004 to encourage landholders across the broader landscape to control foxes and rabbits at the same time to have maximum impact.
A big focus of the programme is to link with existing programmes further to increase the reach of fox and rabbit control. Major coordination stakeholders include Landcare groups, DAFWA and DPaW – and the major aim is to define a baiting period in Autumn to focus fox control activity – taking into account key community events (e.g. major field days, school holidays). Each local area supports their local land managers (mainly farmers) to be involved in both shoots and 1080 baiting.
A benefit in holding a fox shoot early then follow up with 1080 baiting is that young foxes are easier to shoot and the older, sly foxes will be over the hill before a spotlight ever finds them. They will, however, eat a bait when they are hungry! In Western Australia, 36 mammals, 22 bird and 11 reptile species are vulnerable to predation by feral cats and a wide range of other native animals are also adversely affected by feral cats.
Australia-wide, feral cats have played a major role in the extinction of at least 27 mammal species and at present endanger 147 Australian mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. Feral cats are recognised by the Environment and Invasives Committee as an extreme threat category for Australia (the highest threat) (IPAC 2015). Predation by feral cats is recognised as a key threatening process under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Personally, my team has a passion for hunting; We love it. It is always a good excuse to get the crew together and have a great hunting weekend.
For more information follow the links.