Fox predation?

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Subject: Fox predation?
From: "J & C Krohn" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 17:58:40 +1000
Evening, folks.
Some interesting discussion about the relative impacts of foxes and feral cats on birds like Bush Stone-curlews and Bustards.  When we visited the Eyre Peninsula in September 1999 we understood that Bush Stone-curlews were extinct in the southern part of the Peninsula but hanging on on some of the small offshore islands.  When we camped in Lincoln National Park there was a fair bit of publicity about the fox elimination process that had been going on in preparation for the release of (I think from memory) Brush-tailed Bettongs into the park.  We didn't see any Bettongs but on three of the four nights we camped at Fisherman Point (well towards the northern end of the Park and quite some distance from the nearest of the off-shore islands) we heard Stone-curlews near our camp, suggesting that they had possibly spread back through most of the Park.  I don't know whether the fox control program would also have had any impact on feral cat numbers.  Interestingly, I also heard Western Whipbirds in more places than I expected - perhaps also a beneficiary of the fox control program?
With so many changes to our ecology since settlement, it's hard to pin down the individual reasons for specific ecological impacts, but improved control of any exotic species, especially predatory species and aggressively competitive species, seems more likely than not to be a step in the right direction unless evidence emerges to the contrary.
On another note, we went back to Deep Lead last weekend and found at least 70 Swift Parrots, a very satisfying result.  Atlas and Swift Parrot survey forms in preparation.
Regards to all,
    Jack Krohn
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