Fighting foxes in the Werai Forest


By Jamie Hearn
Senior Land Services Officer - Central Murray Ramsar project

P: 03 5881 9925 | M: 0447 420 789 |

Werai Forest

The Werai Forest west of Deniliquin is Wemba Wemba, Perrepa Perrepa country, and also part of the internationally recognised NSW Central Murray Ramsar site. Situated on the banks of the Edward River, (Kolety – Wemba Wemba language), it has great significance to the Deniliquin Aboriginal community.  Many of the local Aboriginal communities have ties to the Moonacullah mission, which was situated at the eastern end of the forest.

Foxes (and feral cats) are the key predator threats to the biodiversity of the forest. Ground and hollow nesting birds (Wil – bush-stone curlew), turtles (Nyim – short-necked turtle, Turmi-Mum – long-necked turtle), native mice, and a host of other native species are easy prey. Many of these species have special significance to the Aboriginal community and are listed as Vulnerable or Threatened.

Two separate fox baiting projects are currently underway in and around Werai Forest as part of the Ramsar project.  Baiting is undertaken to reduce fox predation on turtle eggs and hatchlings, and to improve wetland remediation outcomes for Australasian bittern (Kuwir) habitat enhancement.

These projects have involved many stakeholders including Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre, private landholders, contractors, La Trobe University, and NSW NPWS. The baiting projects in the Werai Forest will continue over the next few years.

Murray turtle. Photo: Damian MichaelRob Black, Saunders Spraying and Tracy Hamilton, Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre setting up fox baiting stations

This project is supported by Murray Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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