Fox fright on KI

Nick Markopoulos setting a trap at Island Beach.
Nick Markopoulos setting a trap at Island Beach.

Foxes have played a major role in the decline of a number of native animal species and they prey on newborn lambs and poultry.

It is essential that Kangaroo Island preserve its fox-free status, so Natural Resources Kangaroo Island staff undertook an extensive investigation when it recently received a report from a KI visitor of a fox calling at Island Beach.

The visitor reported hearing several potential fox calls in the late evening and the next day he found suspicious tracks and fresh scat (faeces) in the location of the noise.

Unfortunately it took several days for this to be reported to the natural resources centre, but staff responded immediately sending the scat to Canberra for DNA analysis. They photographed the tracks, set up movement cameras and placed cage traps in the location.

The results of the DNA sequencing test showed that it was cat faeces. This concurred with the camera trap results and tracks that were found. Several feral cats as well as possums and wallabies were photographed by the motion cameras. 

Biosecurity Liaison Officer Andrew Triggs said fortunately it appeared to have been a false alarm.

Please report any potential sightings of foxes, ferrets, goats or deer as soon as sighted to the natural resources centre - 37 Dauncey Street Kingscote, online at www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/kangarooisland or phone (08) 8553 4444.

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