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Unexpected creatures sighted on Fraser Island

A SMALL fox population has been confirmed on Fraser Island, with seven official sightings of the creatures in the past five years.

Former Fraser island advisory committee member Mike West said the discovery was an "odd one", adding that he believed the population would eventually be decimated by the dingoes.

A spokesman from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said camera trap footage had shown the presence of foxes on Fraser Island on seven occasions from 2012 to 2016.

"Due to the very low numbers involved, QPWS does not pro-actively target the species for control as it is considered that dingoes as the apex predator keep the population in check," the spokesman said.

Mr West said that was a sound policy and it would be better to focus on the animals that could do more harm to the environment on the island, such as the brumbies, pigs and cats, which should be targeted for removal.

Mr West was part of the advisory committee that initially recommended the removal of the feral horses from the island, although he was aware that a small population had been uncovered in the north of the island in 2014.

He said the remaining horses should be targeted for removal.

There are currently about 35 motion-activated cameras on the island which are used to record dingo behaviour and provide information about dingo interactions.

Along with the brumbies, images of a single feral pig have also been captured.

Mr West said he had seen two cats and evidence of others during his visits to the island.

"Foxes could devastate the ground nesting birds and cats could too," he said.

Mr West said dingoes would probably also keep the cat population in check on the island.

Topics:  editors picks fox fraser coast fraser island


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