16 December 2011

Foxes and rabbits

I was aware of the story that a fox had hitched a ride across Bass Strait on the ferry some years ago.   Whether or not this is true, there's now a brochure in Tasmania which we saw several times at tourist information offices about the issue.  The brochure sets out a number of reported sightings and other information suggesting the presence of foxes, albeit at present in very small numbers.  It asks that any further sightings be promptly reported.  The Tasmanians are worried that if foxes become established in Tasmania, they will have a devastating effect on the wildlife.  Thus, they appear to be taking this issue very seriously, for example see the website - http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/ThemeNodes/LBUN-5K438G?open.    However, although we saw lots of "roadkill" in Tasmania, we're pretty sure that we didn't see any foxes.

No doubt it's unrelated to the (near) absence of foxes, but we were surprised by the number of rabbits in Tasmania, at least in the coastal areas.   In the beachfront reserves at both Hawley Beach and Devonport, they were readily visible in the middle of the day.  And at dusk, driving along the road next to the foreshore at Hawley Beach, we lost count of the number we saw.   We were told that little or nothing is done to control their numbers in these areas.   The complacency in this respect seems to be quite a contrast to the concern that exists about foxes.  Perhaps the view is that there's enough grass to go around?

No comments:

Post a Comment