Foxes in Tasmania

Subject: Foxes in Tasmania
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 13:25:59 +1000
Dear all,

Please excuse the chain email... this is from Menna Jones (UTAS, ANU)
regarding the potentially disastrous situation in Tasmania with the recente
 stablishment of foxes. She requests that we all put pressure on the
Tasmanian & Federal governments to immediately commit funds to fox
eradication. She has written a template of an email which you can use if
we are too busy to write our own - simply cut, paste & send.

David Geering
Dear ecologists, environmentalists and friends,

RE: foxes in Tasmania

This would be the first chain email I have ever sent but the issue is so
critical that I feel the issue justifies it.

Any pressure that can be put on Tasmanian and Federal governments
regarding fox eradication in Tasmania is valuable. Letters are likely to
be most effective but for those very busy people, an open letter with
email hyperlinks to the relevant politicians are included at the end of
this email. Please insert the appropriate names and cut and paste the texto
 f the letter into the email.

Please forward this email to all who may contribute.

Thankyou for your time,

Menna Jones

Tasmanian fox alert!

· Red foxes have recently become established in Tasmania as the result ofa
  planned, deliberate release
· This is an ecological disaster of national importance. Many native
animal species have diminished or disappeared on mainland Australia
because of foxes.
· Until recently, Tasmania has been a fox-free, island refuge for
marsupials and ground-nesting birds, which have become threatened,
endangered or extinct on mainland Australia, such as:
  - Extinct on mainland: the eastern quoll, the Tasmanian bettong, the
Tasmanian pademelon
  - Endangered on mainland: the eastern barred bandicoot
  - Threatened: the long-nosed potoroo, southern brown bandicoot, New
Holland mouse, ground parrot, orange-bellied parrot, Tasmanian native
hens, Cape Barren goose, little penguin, sea birds, mountain dragon,
slender bluetongue lizard, gold and green bell frog and so on.
· Native wildlife is presently abundant in Tasmania (including as
roadkills). Roadkills are sparse in most areas of mainland Australia and
comprise mainly large kangaroos and foxes.

Window of opportunity
· the fox population in Tasmania is still small. Foxes can have 4-10 pupse
 ach year. Tasmania offers a lot of food (native marsupials) and ideal
opportunities for breeding and survival.
· Each year could see fox numbers increase exponentially.
· It is critical that resources are put into eradicating foxes early; that
is, now!

State and Federal Governments have been slow to respond and commit
resources to the problem. This problem requires a level of funding and
resources beyond what Tasmania can afford.

What you can do!
· If in Tasmania, report fox sightings to the 24 hour FOX HOTLINE6336 5368
· Write letters to newspapers and politicians emphasising the national
significance of this ecological disaster and the critical need for
commitment from government to make Tasmania fox-free again. Following area
 ddresses to which letters would be most useful.
  - The Mercury newspaper: Letters to the Editor, 93 Macquarie St, HobartT
 AS 7000; 
  - The Australian newspaper: Letters to the Editor, GPO Box 4162, SydneyN
 SW 2001; Fax. 02 9288 2824; Email. 
  - David Llewellyn, Minister for the Environment, Parliament House,
Hobart Tasmania 7000, 
  - Jim Bacon, Tasmanian Premier with responsibilities for Tourism,
Parliament House, Hobart Tasmania 7000, 
  - David Kemp, Federal Environment minister, Parliament House, Canberra,D

Dear Mr.      ,

It is with great concern that I have learnt of the recent establishment ofa
  small population of red foxes in Tasmania. This is an ecological
disaster of national importance.

Red foxes are implicated in the decline and extinction of numerous
Australian native animals. Until recently, Tasmania has been a fox-free,
island refuge for a number of these species. Wildlife is presently
abundant and diverse in Tasmania. If foxes become established in Tasmania,s
 everal species will inevitably be pushed to the brink of extinction.

This problem needs an immediate commitment of funding and resources,
before the mid-year fox breeding season. With a new generation of foxes,
the population will begin to expand exponentially and the problem will
become more expensive, if not impossible, to fix.

Eradicating foxes from Tasmania is beyond the resources available in thats
 tate. What is critically needed is a large and continued commitment fromb
 oth Federal and State governments. Attaining a fox-free Tasmania will bee
 xpensive but far cheaper than saving species from extinction.


Dr. Menna Jones, ARC Postdoctoral Fellow; School of Botany and Zoology,
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200. Fax: 02-6249 5573;
email: ;
Ph: 0419 622313

Honorary Research Associate, School of Zoology, University of Tasmania,
GPO Box 252-5, Hobart TAS 7001. Fax: 03-6226 2745; Email:

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