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Where we bait

Western Shield's fox and feral cat baiting program is carried out over nearly 3.7 million hectares across the State, from Cape Arid National Park east of Esperance in the south, to Murujuga National Park near Karratha in the north. It includes forests of the south-west, rangeland sites and numerous Wheatbelt reserves.

  • The Parks and Wildlife Service deploys most 1080 fox and feral cat baits from the air, as this is the most effective way to cover large areas.

  • It carries out aerial fox baiting across the whole 3.7 million hectares multiple times a year, and feral cat baiting once a year, using a specially modified aircraft, which can drop baits with great precision.

  • Researchers continue to conduct research on:
    - the risks of various management options to other animals
    - the most effective times to carry out baiting programs
    - how many baits are needed per hectare to effectively manage introduced predators.

  • The Parks and Wildlife Service is also developing efficient ways to monitor the numbers of foxes and feral cats, to show how successful the baiting program is, and where it worked best.

  • Ground baiting is also undertaken for more targeted control of foxes and feral cats, and in smaller, more isolated reserves (usually once a month), or in areas with highly sensitive species because foxes from surrounding, unbaited areas can quickly return to these areas.

When are baits laid?

Baiting activities, as well as other management options, are carefully timed. 

Eradicat is laid at times when prey is scarce, so feral cats are more likely to eat them. Probait is used year-round to control foxes. Baits are distributed aerially and from the ground by specially trained staff and contractors.

Areas subject to baiting by the Parks and Wildlife Service should be considered unsafe for domestic pets at all times.

Eradicat® baits. Photo - DBCA

Facts and figures

  • The Parks and Wildlife Service lays more than 900,000 baits each year — 400,000 fox baits and 500,000 feral cat baits.
  • During each quarterly baiting program, the bait plane flies approximately 50,000 km. That is the equivalent of flying around the world 1.25 times. 
  • It drops 1,000 aerial baits per hour of flying.
  • It lays five fox baits per square kilometre (or one bait for every 20 hectares).
  • It drops 50 feral cat baits dropped per square kilometre (or 10 baits for every 20 hectares).
  • Fox baiting generally takes place every three months, but once a year for feral cats.
  • It takes eight weeks to aerially bait the 3.7 million hectares.
  • The plane is in the air for about eight months each year.

More about 1080