Image for Bounties on Tasmanian foxes

In January 2002 the then Director of the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, Michael Lynch called on Tasmanian Government to consider a bounty on the fox in Tasmania.

‘The fox may be number one priority in Mr Llewellyn’s mind, but it’s certainly not the number one priority in his cheque book’, Mr Lynch said.

‘The walk doesn’t match the talk. He needs to get his boots on and go to Cabinet and say this is serious and I need money to deal with it.’

‘The last time Tasmania imposed a bounty on an animal in Tasmania was for the thylacine; we brought it to extinction in quick time’, Mr Lynch said. [Reference: The Mercury 23 January 2002]

On the other hand the responsible Minister, David Llewellyn said a bounty had been ‘ruled out’ because the risk of ‘people shooting foxes interstate and bringing their corpses to Tasmanian to claim the reward’.  [Reference: The Mercury 24 January 2002]

Michael Lynch called for a $10,000 bounty on ‘every fox caught in Tasmania, saying it was a small price to pay when compared with the irreparable damage the growing fox population could wreak’. [Reference: The Mercury - Fox on the rise, call for $10,000 fox bounty - 28 January 2002]

He said a bounty of this amount would an appropriate ‘incentive’ to rid Tasmania of the menace.

‘A bounty should be part of an overall strategic plan; the issue is so important to Tasmania we should be exploring every possible avenue’, Mr Lynch said.

‘The Government has already dismissed a [fox] bounty saying people would bring in foxes from interstate, but how unthinking is that! Quarantine Tasmania is to check what people bring into sea and air ports.’ 

Greens Senator for Tasmania, Bob Brown endorsed Mr Lynch’s call for a bounty calling it ‘an excellent idea’. Senator Brown said he would go one step further and impose a $100,000 fine and jail sentence for anyone caught bringing a fox into the State. [Reference: The Mercury - Fox on the rise, call for $10,000 fox bounty - 28 January 2002; Australian Shooters Journal - March 2002]

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When a fox escaped off a Brambles freight ferry in late May 1998, a Member of Parliament for the Burnie [Des Hiscutt] region suggested a reward of $5000 for its capture. The following day a senior Department bureaucrat rejected the suggestion believing a reward would encourage amateur fox seekers to disrupt the Government’s efforts to capture the fox. Another spokesperson claimed a fox reward would encourage smuggling of foxes into the state. [Reference: The Advocate - Call for reward for fox capture - 12 -13 June 1998]

Eric Bosworth, the Tasmanian hunter who claimed he shot a fox on the Midland property Symmons Plains in 2001 lashed out at the Government’s fox program. This dead fox was investigated by the State Government who claimed that it was shot in Tasmania based on the recovery of material from the fox that suggested it had eaten a species of mouse only found in Tasmania - a long-tailed mouse.

Bosworth believed he was eligible for a $5000 State Government reward for killing the fox. A $5000 reward for a Tasmanian fox was advertised in a national hunting magazine - thought to be the Australian Shooter. A spokesperson for the Parks & Wildlife Service stated that no such reward had been offered by the Tasmanian Government, but acknowledged the PWS had requested that the popular hunting magazine ‘withdraw’ the Tasmanian Fox Reward.  [Reference: The Mercury 17 July 2002]

After the recovery of another dead fox by a Tasmanian road in August 2006, Tasmanian Times advertised a reward for the capture or killing of the first genuine Tasmanian fox. The $1000 reward was posted in September 2006 and increased to $5000 in early 2010. After four years the reward remains unclaimed. [Reference: [Reference: The Examiner - Fox bounty jumps to $5000 amid criticism - 17 March 2010]

Monday, Oct 4, ABC Online:

Fox sighted near Hobart

A fox has been reported in Sandford, south of Hobart, in what is one of the first sightings so close to the city.

Bob Judd saw what he believes was a fox on his property about one o’clock yesterday afternoon.

Officers from the Fox Eradication Program will take detection dogs down to the property today to try to find the animal but Mr Judd says he has no doubts about what he saw.

“There was this red apparition running like lightning, grease lightning, up the hill and it was a fox - it had a red bushy tail and all the rest of it and I can see a fox when i know it,” he said.

Story HERE