Foxes will be controlled in Tyagarah Nature Reserve, north of Byron Bay, in an effort to protect the vulnerable long-nosed potoroo.

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Pest Management Officer Lisa Wellman said that baiting will commence on Tuesday 31st of August.

“Tyagarah Nature Reserve has been identified as a priority in the Statewide Fox Threat Abatement Plan,” Ms Wellman said. 

“A 1997 survey estimated that 80-90 individual long-nosed potoroos inhabit the nature reserve. However, a 2009 scientific study failed to capture any. This study drew the conclusion that potoroos may have declined in the reserve due to foxes.

“Predation by foxes is one of the main factors contributing to the decline of the long-nosed potoroo across its range.

“Potoroos are now being monitored in the reserve by means of 20 fixed cameras and the results of this monitoring will be available next week.

“The fox baiting program is a joint initiative of the NPWS and North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA). 1080 baits will be placed along the boundaries of the reserve and the coastal trail within the reserve until the 19th December 2010.

“While 1080 fox baits are designed to kill foxes, they will also kill dogs. All areas that are baited will be signposted. It is important that people only take their dogs to designated dog exercise areas. 1080 baits will not be laid in or in the vicinity of these dog exercise areas to ensure responsible pet owners are able to exercise their dogs safely.

“Dogs are not permitted in the reserve or on the beach adjoining, which is part of Cape Byron Marine Park.”