Four Wheel Drive Victoria have been informed that Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will be undertaking fox baiting in north east Victoria’s Barry Mountains during the coming months to assist threatened species in their
recovery from the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.
From mid-December, Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) will expand fox control works to reduce impacts on the nationally endangered Long-footed Potoroo.
An extensive ground poison-baiting program will commence this week until March 14, 2022 in the Dandongadale, Buffalo River, and Buckland state forests. The program will continue until June 30, 2022 in the Tea Tree Range state forests and the Alpine National Park.
Biodiversity Recovery Coordinator, Glen Johnson, said foxes pose a serious threat to the species.
“Fox baiting was successfully initiated following the 2003 Alpine Fires to support the recovery of Long-footed Potoroo populations,” Mr Johnson said.
“The program has continued annually since then covering an area of approximately 45,000 hectares. In response to the Black Summer fires, we are expanding the program to over 229,000 hectares to support the species’ recovery.”
“Long-footed Potoroos were first formally recorded in the Barry Mountains in 1995. This small population straddles the Great Dividing Range, occurring in both the upper Ovens and Mitchell River catchments in the Alpine National Park and adjoining state forests.”
A remote camera monitoring survey conducted within the project area earlier this year confirmed that the species had survived the fires. The survey detected Potoroos at 35 of the 120 camera locations.
Mr Johnson said 1080 baits will be buried in mounds to a depth of 10-15 centimetres at one-kilometre intervals along approximately 800 kilometres of sign-posted vehicle tracks. Warning signs have been established on all tracks to advise forest users that baiting is in progress.
“These baits could pose a risk to domestic animals and we ask nearby landholders to ensure their dogs and other pets are confined to their property,” he said.
“Baits will be buried in bait stations according to Victorian guidelines and standards to reduce the risk to native species and domestic animals. The timing of the works has also been scheduled to reduce the risk for hound hunters.”
The works are being undertaken in partnership with Parks Victoria and Traditional Owners, in consultation with stakeholders, landowners and the community.
The program is being delivered under the Victorian Government’s $62.2 million Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery Program and is funded by the Australian Government’s Regional Fund for Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery.
For further information about the program visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/invasive-plants-and-animals/managing-invasive-species-after-fire/barry-mountains-predator-control