FOR the past decade the Glenelg Ark project has helped to protect native wildlife in Victoria’s far South West by reducing numbers of the introduced Red Fox.
A celebration lunch and presentation involving Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria staff and researchers was held in Dartmoor last week to mark the 10-year anniversary of the fox control project.
Glenelg Ark includes a monitoring program in three baited and three non-baited areas in the Lower Glenelg National Park, Cobboboonee National Park, Annya State Forest, Mount Clay State Forest and Hotspur State Forest. It is the largest fox control project on public land in South West Victoria, operating across 90,000 hectares. DELWP Barwon South West Regional Director Helen Vaughan said: “The Glenelg Ark fox management project has had a positive impact on native mammal recovery efforts in the region. For example, current data is showing a 65 per cent increase in the number of Long-nosed Potoroos in areas baited for foxes. “Understanding the effectiveness of landscape scale fox control programs requires long-term monitoring. Glenelg Ark has been invaluable in helping us to understand predation and other pressures upon our native mammals in the area,” Ms Vaughan said.
“The commitment, collaboration and contributions to the project by the Glenelg Ark team, Parks Victoria and Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) staff has been outstanding. “Our project team also thank the Glenelg community who have been an important partner in supporting the project over the past 10 years.” ARI senior research scientist Dr Alan Robley said: “The project has demonstrated that baiting of foxes increases the occupancy, colonization and persistence rates for native mammal species in the baited areas.
“The long-term commitment and hard work by DELWP regional staff in implementing the rigorous management and monitoring regime required has been the backbone of the success for Glenelg Ark,” Dr Robley said.
“We’ve been able to study the long-term effectiveness of management actions aimed at securing and increasing a range of native species at risk from predation by introduced pest animals.
“Few studies in Australia and overseas have over 10 years of continuous management that has been closely monitored providing unique insights into the way our natural environment responds to management actions.”