Media interest sparked by a recent fox sighting near the State War Memorial in Kings Park has resulted in public discussion about the prevalence and impact of foxes across the metropolitan area.
In Kings Park, occasional sightings by staff and visitors suggest a small number of foxes are present. However, monitoring indicates the numbers are not large.
Reported fox sightings have not increased lately, although there have been other recent sightings near the State War Memorial. The problem of foxes is not isolated to Kings Park, and feral animals are an issue for the whole metropolitan region.
How are foxes controlled in Kings Park?
After four reports of nuisance foxes by visitors in late 2015, a contractor was engaged to remove them under permit from bushland around the Kings Park scarp. Two adults and three juvenile foxes were removed during this period using ‘soft jaw’ traps in areas not open to the public. These traps do not injure the fox, but prevent it from escaping.
Kings Park is continuing to actively monitor fox activity and will take further action if required. Ongoing monitoring and occasional controls are used by Kings Park to prevent nuisance behaviour affecting visitors and wildlife.
The BGPA believes that a regional approach to fox control is likely the most effective way forward as research indicates that implementing fox control programs in isolated areas will not have a positive impact.
Do foxes live in urban areas?
Foxes are well-adapted to city living and commonly found in urban areas. Their indiscriminate approach to food means they will eat anything from rats and rabbits to native fauna including reptiles and birds. They are found in residential and industrial areas, agricultural areas and parklands around the world.
Impact on the flora and fauna in Kings Park is not thought to be excessive, however this cannot be confirmed without research. Little research has been done in Perth to fully understand the prevalence and impact of foxes.
Are they dangerous?
Foxes and other feral animals such as cats kill native wildlife.
Kings Park has received no reports of foxes causing danger to visitors. However, there is potential that, with familiarity and people providing a source of food, fox behaviour could become more aggressive.
The Kings Park approach is to intervene before this kind of behaviour can develop. The foxes seen recently are believed to be juveniles displaying inquisitive behaviour. Summer is a lean time of year for foxes and other animals, so they are more likely to be drawn to smells of picnic food and scraps left behind by visitors.
Visitors are encouraged to contact us if a fox is seen in Kings Park to assist with monitoring.