Hills reserves closed to allow fox baiting

Excelsior and Bidjigal Reserves will be closed to all dogs for another five weeks so trained staff can lay fox baits containing 1080 poison, which can be lethal to dogs and cats.

The reserves are in Castle Hill and Baulkham Hills, respectively.

The Hills Council’s bushland maintenance co-ordinator, Lisa Willock, said the European fox had had a devastating effect on native species throughout Sydney.

‘‘But since we initiated the fox baiting program in 2002, we have seen increased sightings of species such as the threatened powerful owl,’’ she said.

Click here to read our previous coverage on why fox baiting is necessary and why it's done this way.

A council spokesman said the use of 1080 poison had been recognised as the most effective way to deal with the fox population.

Baits are buried 10 centimetres underground.

He said this was because studies show most native animals do not dig up buried bait.

‘‘Cats are unlikely to dig up baits and dogs are prohibited from the reserve throughout the baiting period,’’ he added.

“Introduced species like foxes and rabbits have had a detrimental impact on native fauna and flora but we’re slowly seeing some native species return to our beautiful parks, reserves and bushland.”

■ Report any fox or native fauna sightings to the bushland team on 9686 4842.

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