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TAS Country : August 12th 2010
6 Tasmanian Country Friday, August 13, 2010 From page 5 Fox fighters fend off critics From Page 5 He uses red gloves to open the plastic bags that con- tain the baits and uses tongs to bury the bait. ''I am not worried about poison affecting me but I don't want human smell on the bait,'' he said. Mr Woodruff uses the tongs again to cover the bait with dirt and never touches the actual bait site. Every bait position is marked on a small palm- size computer carried by Mr Woodruff who uploads the information to the main computer and re- turns to retrieve the baits within 28 days. The original 3mg of the 1080 is down to 2.7mg after removal from the bag and down to about 10 per cent of the original 3mg after two weeks. A devil needs to eat 10 baits in one night when they are first put out to have a 50 per cent chance of dying, Mr Woodruff said. ''The baits become smelly after a while, which does attract the quolls and the devils but by that stage the 1080 is down to very small levels,'' he said. ''They have to eat lots of baits before the 1080 does any damage to them at all.'' A Tasmanian devil has 35 times the resistance to the 1080 compound as does a fox. ''Dogs are very prone to it, more so than foxes, and that's our biggest concern and they dig for it,'' Mr Sayers said. Dog's life tracking elusive fox ON THE PROWL: Dog handler David Cunningham urges his labrador Orange to find a fox scat. JENNIFER CRAWLEY MARINE biologist Tonia Coch- ran has a doctorate in zoology and calls her 50 Poll Hereford cattle by name. Her spectacular 200ha South Bruny Island property, Inala, is home to the sound of waves pounding on the Cloudy Bay foreshore further south. Ms Cochran grows brown boronia for essential oils and runs tourist accommodation. But wildlife tours throughout Australia are her main business. She said she was happy for a scat survey to be conducted on Inala and had no problems with 1080 baits being buried on her property. ''They are planted under the ground and the wildlife has much more tolerance to them than foxes,'' Ms Cochran said. ''I will take any chance to do something about foxes instead of ignoring it.'' Scat survey worker Candida Barclay, dog handler David Cun- ningham and sniffer dog Orange were on Ms Cochran's property last week looking for fox scats. ''Our aim is to find fox scats in the environment,'' Ms Barclay said. Humans and dogs are used in the hunt. Ms Barclay said scats were collected and sent to the Univer- sity of Canberra for DNA analy- sis.Open paddocks, fencelines, creek lines and old buildings come in for special attention as the team searches for potential fox habitats. The dogs they use are labra- dors because they are 'people friendly' and part of a small handful of breeds that are used for scent work. German short haired pointers are also used. Scat dogs travel in pairs and each works a maximum of six 20-minute runs per day. ''They have to have a rest and can only do a limited amount of work because it is intense on the nose,'' Ms Barclay said. Members of the fox eradication program contacted 129 land- owners on Bruny Island who own more than 20ha of land before travelling to the island. Mr Cunningham has trained dogs for 20 years. A leather bag around his waist contains cooked garlic sausages --- treats for the dogs. ''They love garlic and it's very good for them,'' Mr Cunningham said. Ms Barclay said when there was no fox scent, dogs were ''given a hit'' from fox scats laid by the handlers. A fox scat from Victoria is placed in a paddock while Mr Cunningham and Orange look away. Then Ms Barclay marks its position on her GPS. ''All scats are recorded by GPS,'' Mr Cunningham said. There is not an ounce of fat on Orange, who is a muscular, lean dog. Mr Cunningham puts the col- lar on Orange and urges the dog to find a scat. Orange is then released by Mr Cunningham and the dog heads off, head down, sniffing around the tree line. Mr Cunningham tells Orange to find a fox and with head to the ground and tail up, Orange is on the hunt. www.ranbuild.com.au Call your local accredited Ranbuild Dealer today: 1300 RANBUILD at the Steel ice Rise -- Order our Shed Now! 20810
August 5th 2010
August 19th 2010