Elusive fox that threatened Phillip Island’s little penguins caught after two-month hunt | Victoria

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An elusive fox has been captured following a two-month hunt after the predator in some way evaded a defence system to enter Victoria’s Phillip Island, threatening a world-famous penguin colony.Phillip Island was declared fox-free in 2017 after a 25-year effort to drive the animals out of the realm, south-east of Melbourne.After a number of chickens have been killed on an area property in early Might this 12 months, animal tracks and droppings have been discovered earlier than infrared surveillance cameras captured a picture of a fox.Phillip Island Nature Parks on Wednesday confirmed the fox had been caught on the island’s southern shoreline after the two-month operation.The predator was humanely euthanised, Phillip Island Nature Parks stated.The fox was tracked to the placement with the help of a conservation detection canine.How the fox arrived on Phillip Island stays a thriller, with no signal of it crossing from the mainland via cameras working on the San Remo Bridge.One principle is it might have swum on to the island, with foxes recognized to paddle vital distances seeking new territory and meals.The conservation crew set traps, ran night-time surveys and did detection canine searches to trace down the fox, whereas the droppings and different samples underwent genotyping to find out its intercourse and procure a DNA profile.Foxes are the first menace to the island’s little penguins – the most important colony on the earth – in addition to different native species, livestock and home pets.“We are going to proceed to stay vigilant and conduct intensive surveys till we’re sure that the island is fox free once more,” performing Phillip Island Nature Parks chief govt, Peta Wittig, stated.

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