Red foxes caught red handed
The introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has established large populations across the Australian continent and are additive sources of pressure on the persistence of native species.
- Sinead Allsop reviewed the evidence for bait resistance in invasive species, asking whether avoidance of baits or physiological toxin resistance could account for reduced efficiency of baiting programmes over time (Allsop et al. 2017)
- Shannon Dundas examined fox bait uptake in WA (Controlling fox populations; Dundas et al. 2014).
- Stuart Dawson collected evidence implicating foxes in predating oblong turtle nests: Oblong turtles (Dawson et al 2014; Dawson et al 2016)
- Trish Fleming demonstrated that fox predation at an outdoor piggery accounted for a large proportion of deaths, and probably account for the 20% of piglets that went ‘missing’. This work was presented at AWMS2015: Food subsidies for pest animals AWMS2015 poster and has been published (Fleming et al 2016).
The domestic cat is a superb survivor. Although they hitched a ride to this continent with humans initially, feral populations thrive and are maintained with no help from people now.
- Narelle Dybing spends hours looking down the microscope every day in her pursuit to describe the parasite load of feral cats. Understanding which parasites these animals have will allow us to assess their role in disease transmission.
Feral pigs dig up water catchments
The feral pig (Sus scrofa) shows preference for riparian zones, where it roots through vegetation to find root and other plant material.
- Dr Peter Adams has been quantifying the impact of feral pigs in jarrah forest water catchment sites.
- Lara Osborne has been comparing the properties of soil dug up by feral pigs with soil from the diggings of native animals.
- Joe Porter has been identifying diet of feral pigs from a mountain of stomach samples collected from culled animals.