Feral pigs, cats, dogs and foxes can all impact turtle populations, but the fox has the capacity to seriously impact the success of some very large rookeries on the WA mainland coast. Foxes can dig up eggs or prey upon hatchlings, drastically reducing the chances of that nest adding new members to the local population.
What we are doing:
Mundabullangana Station, on the coast between Karratha and Port Hedland, has a large rookery of flatbacks and is a reference site for the North West Shelf population. A research project currently being undertaken on the station has shown that many foxes’ territories overlap on the coastal plain next to the rookery beaches. Monitoring of fox populations in coastal areas that support turtles is important, along with appropriate culling programs, with research to ensure they are effective and efficient.
What you can do to help
- If you are a landowner and think that foxes on your land may be impacting a turtle population then you can look at the options for fox control on your property, talk to your neighbours and also contact DBCA.
- If you are a pet owner living or visiting areas that may be using fox control methods, such as baiting, be aware that these baits are lethal to pets too, take note of signage and do not allow your pets off the lead in these areas.
- If you are a pet owner who lives close to turtle nesting beaches be aware that your pet can disturb turtle nests, so always walk dogs on a lead on nesting beaches during turtle nesting seasons or choose alternative routes during these times.