European red fox

""The European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is listed as an Invasive Biosecurity Matter which requires landholders to manage this species in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2014 and the Brisbane Invasive Species Management Plan 2013-2017. Foxes pose a serious threat to native wildlife and domestic animals.

The European red fox was introduced into Victoria in 1855 as part of an acclimatisation program for the sport of recreational hunting. After the dingo and wild dog, the fox is the largest carnivorous mammal on mainland Australia. Poultry of all types are vulnerable to attacks by wild dogs, foxes and free roaming domestic dogs.

Appearance

European red fox generally:

  • have red fur and a pointed muzzle
  • have a flattened and slender skull
  • have large ears and long bushy tail
  • weigh between 4.5 and 8 kilograms (adult fox).

Fox habitat

European red fox are common in the urban-rural fringe areas as they look for food around rubbish bins, barbeque and picnic areas in parkland and dig in backyard compost heaps. During the day they shelter in thick vegetation along gullies and creek banks, in hollow logs, under houses, in drainpipes and even old car bodies.

Problems with foxes

Foxes cause many problems as they:

  • are opportunistic feeders, known to prey on small mammals, rodents, frogs, birds, beetles, moths, earthworms and fish
  • injure or kill poultry or small domestic pets
  • are timid by nature but can inflict a painful bite if threatened or cornered
  • potentially carry parasites and diseases such as worms and the rabies virus.

Fox management

The first step is to make your property less attractive to foxes:

  1. Fox-proof enclosures may be constructed for domestic pets and poultry.
  2. Secure pets at night and when walking.
  3. Feeding stations can be used by foxes to ambush wildlife.
  4. Do not domesticate foxes by feeding them, clean up uneaten pet food as well as excess fruit fallen from trees.
  5. Always cover compost piles or use compost bins.

What Council is doing

Brisbane City Council is managing the impacts of foxes on native wildlife through trapping and fox den detection.

Report foxes

Council encourages the reporting of fox sightings, including the presence of dens, as this information is used to determine the best location to implement management programs.

To report a fox you can fill out the Report it: Fox, deer and rabbit sightings online form or phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

You can also record sightings and view fox activity in your local area at www.foxscan.org.au

More information

Find out how you can build a fox-proof poultry pen

If you have tried all of these options and there is still a problem, phone Council on 07 3403 8888 for advice or to learn more about their management.

06 February 2017