Phillip Island Nature Parks’ fox eradication program has won a prestigious Banskia Environmental Award 2011 in the Land and Biodiversity category and a Natural Environment Award in the 2012 Victorian Coastal Awards for Excellence.
Red foxes were introduced to Phillip Island in the early 1900s and have had a major impact on Phillip Island’s unique wildlife. Foxes are the little penguin’s biggest threat on land. By the 1980s nine of Phillip Island’s ten penguin colonies had become extinct and the last remaining colony on the Summerland Peninsula, which encompasses the Penguin Parade, was under threat.
"Foxes are the little penguins’ biggest threat on land."
Farmers and rangers began controlling the foxes in a coordinated approach that has yielded over 1000 foxes in the last 20 years.
In 2006, Phillip Island Nature Parks initiated a Fox Eradication Project which focused on a range of integrated techniques to remove foxes from Phillip Island. If successful, this will have great benefits for little penguins, short-tailed shearwaters and other Phillip Island wildlife populations.
"If you see a fox on Phillip Island please phone 0419 369 365 immediately and help us remove the little penguin’s number one killer."
Feral and roaming cat management
Feral and roaming domestic cats are a significant problem to wildlife as they hunt small mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs. Feral cats can spread diseases such as toxoplasmosis, which can infect humans and other mammals, and feline HIV that affects domestic cats. Rangers conduct a feral cat trapping program each year to help protect the wildlife in Phillip Island Nature Parks.