The Relative Merits of Predator-Exclusion Fencing and Repeated Fox Baiting for Protection of Native Fauna: Five Case Studies from Western Australia



Predator-exclusion fencing and repeated use of baits containing the toxin sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) have been used widely for conservation purposes. Prior to implementation, the relative merits of each are rarely examined. We reviewed the general and specific advantages and disadvantages of each option and provided five case studies from Western Australia examining the outcomes of fencing and repeated baiting. There was a dearth of monitoring data and quantitative analyses of the effects from predator exclusion and repeated baiting. Despite the limited quantitative analyses, feral cats were an issue for areas baited for fox control. Both feral cats and foxes were an issue for fenced areas where incursions occurred and where eradication had not been achieved. There were clear long- and short-term advantages and disadvantages for each option and there was a need to identify the objectives and desired outcomes before deciding between the use of fencing and repeated baiting. Irrespective of the decision to use fencing, repeated baiting or both, there is a requirement to commit a non-trivial amount of resources to long-term maintenance and monitoring of the effectiveness of the approach adopted. Integrated control of foxes and feral cats is desperately required, as is a long-term management philosophy recognising the evolutionary potential of introduced predators and native fauna.


Western Australia Tammar Wallaby Native Fauna Fence Area Track Count 
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We thank Manda Page, Colleen Sims and Helen Crisp for their willingness to provide information from Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary, Peron Peninsula and Roxby Downs, respectively. Thanks also to Peter Orell for providing information on the tammar wallaby population at Tutanning Nature Reserve, Carlo Pacioni for providing unpublished genetic data on woylie populations and Neil Thomas for providing information on the fate of translocated burrowing ­bettongs at Dryandra Woodland. We also thank Matt Hayward and the Society for Conservation Biology for the invitation to present the case studies from WA. Thanks to Suzanne Rosier for ­editing and advice on drafts and Matt Hayward and two anonymous referees for constructive ­comments on a draft.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and Conservation and Invasive Animals Cooperative Research CentreWestern Australian Wildlife Research CentreWannerooAustralia

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