Mallee Fowl

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Mallee Fowl

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Mallee recovery update

Jason Wishart and Stuart Brown from the Invasive Animals CRC have recently returned from another successful Mallee Recovery trip to Mount Hope in south-central NSW to undertake broad-scale coordinated fox baiting.

Currently, Malleefowl are in nest preparation mode and will be laying eggs very shortly; they’re especially vulnerable to predation by foxes at this time. Coordinated fox baiting is being undertaken to help reduce predation pressure and increase recruitment of Malleefowl into the breeding population. It is also anticipated that these control efforts will help improve sheep production in the region.

Over a two a week period, Jason, Stuart and Caitlin Staples baited several large properties in the centre of the project area. A fox bait pick-up and barbeque breakfast was also held at the Mount Hope hall so that all surrounding landholders could collect fox baits and participate in the program. It was fantastic to see so many landholders in attendance. Many landholders were also very concerned about escalating feral pig numbers in the area and would like to include feral pigs in the next round of broad-scale coordinated baiting.

Jason and Stuart were also able to check out the new large road signs at Mount Hope and Willanthry rest stops that were developed by the Invasive Animals CRC and the Local Land Services. The signs are designed to help promote public awareness of the Mallee Recovery project and highlight how detrimental introduced pest species can be to agriculture and the natural environment.     

Later this year, aerial surveys to count the number of active/inactive Malleefowl mounds in the project area will be conducted as a measure of project performance.

Images (Jason Wishart): Top - foxes on a Malleefowl mound; Bottom - project signage

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