Invasive animal species are driving more than 80 per cent of Australia’s most vulnerable native plants and animals towards extinction, according to the Invasive Species Council.
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of evidence of the presence of feral animals on the Co-op. We know that foxes have killed native wildlife, like the vulnerable ground-nesting White-throated Nightjar and we can see the habitat destruction caused by the relatively new presence of deer.
Deer have dramatically increased their numbers in the Bend of Islands area since the early 90s and are now a major pest. They are considered one of Victoria’s most concerning pest problems, with an ever-growing population of feral deer numbering around one million animals and covering nearly 40% of the state.
(Have a look at the shocking time lapse video of the spread of feral deer in Victoria since the 1920s here.)
With our Fauna Cam project we are now able to collect important visual data of the prevalence of these feral animals on the Co-op. In the last month alone six cameras have recorded over 20 deer sightings and over 30 images of foxes.
Sadly, we also captured a fox killing a Lyrebird chick.
These sightings are regularly collected and recorded, and over time will create a substantial data base of animal sightings. Early data collected through Fauna Cam is already pin-pointing areas frequented by foxes and will assist in targeting fox control measures.