To: <>
Subject: 1080
From: "Scott O'Keeffe" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 21:37:12 +1000
Your original post suggested that cats or dogs are several orders of
magnitude more abundant than foxes.  If there are 50,000 dogs in Brisbane,
your assessment implies that there are about 500 foxes in Brisbane.  There
would certainly be more than 500 foxes in Brisbane.  In suggesting that
foxes are very common in Brisbane, I mean that, for a top level predator,
they are very common.  Compared with estimates of fox density from other
locations, it can also be said that foxes are very common in Brisbane.
10,000 is not too likely, but I wouldn't rule this out as a possibility for
greater Brisbane.  As far as I know, no exhaustive surveys have been
undertaken for GB.

As far as diet goes, few studies have been done in the Brisbane area, and
not many have been done in urban areas generally.  Best work comes from
Melbourne.  One study I was involved in looked at scat samples from the
Boondall wetlands and surrounds.  The most common vertebrate remains in fox
scats in that study were bandicoot.  Still common around Brisbane, but in
southern populations centres, disappearing, and foxes are heavily
implicated. Surprisingly, the remains contained no evidence of hares.

Brush Turkeys?  As I understand it, recruitment for Brush Turkeys in
suburban Brisbane is low, and it has been suggested that the birds seen in
the outer suburbs move into these areas from outlying forest.  I havn't seen
any evidence to prove or disprove the idea that foxes take Brush Turkeys.
The fact that we see Turkeys around the 'burbs is not necessarily evidence
of a lack of predation.  Foxes could be picking the Turkeys off, providing
vacant territories for birds dispersing from outlying forest areas.  Perhaps
these vacant territories are rapidly filled by 'new' birds, conveying the
impression that individual birds survive in an area year after year.  Are
the Turkeys we see from one year to the next the same birds, or 'new' birds
which have taken up vacant territories?   I also repeat what I said
previously about eggs.  Foxes love eggs, and eggs in a large heap of
decaying organic material....?  You can't tell me that isnt likely to
attract foxes.

Scott O'Keeffe

-----Original Message-----
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight 
Sent: 12 August 2001 18:36
To: Scott O'Keeffe
Cc: birding-aus
Subject: 1080

Scott O'Keeffe wrote:
> Well, LK, "foxes" is what "I do".  (I work in feral animal control with
> Qld Dept of Natural Resources and Mines). Foxes are indeed, very common in
> Australian towns and cities.   There are plenty of scientific studies to
> back that up.  The Port of Brisbane has very recently done some
> and they are common right through Fisherman Island area, including the
> mangroves.  They have been observed (frequently) in every part of
> including the city centre, New Farm, etc etc. The situation is the same in
> other large population centres.  Most people are unaware of their
> since they are both retiring and active mostly in dark or twilight.
> Foxes certainly would be outnumbered by cats and dogs, but not by several
> orders of magnitude.  Foxes often  exist at higher densities in cities
> in rural areas, simply because there is so much food avaialable for them.
> This is also the case in urban areas within the foxes natural range.

OK, so you reckon there would be of the order of 10,000 foxes in

If there are that many foxes about they mustn't be very effective turkey
hunters, presumably due to the turkeys roosting behaviour.  Perhaps the
turkey eggs are buried too deep for the foxes to dig them up.

Have there been many studies of urban fox stomach contents?  It would be
interesting to know how many pups and kittens they catch.


Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • 1080, Chris
    • Fox numbers., Jon Wren
    • 1080, Laurie & Leanne Knight
      • 1080, Scott O'Keeffe
        • 1080, Laurie & Leanne Knight
          • 1080, Scott O'Keeffe
            • 1080, Laurie & Leanne Knight
              • 1080, Scott O'Keeffe <=
              • 1080, Laurie & Leanne Knight
              • 1080, Scott O'Keeffe
    • 1080, Peter Woodall
      • 1080, Scott O'Keeffe

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU