Physical Evidence of Foxes in Tasmania

The Integrity Commission has released its report in relation to the Department’s former Fox Free Taskforce (FFT) and Fox Eradication Program (FEP). The full report is available from the Integrity Commission​.

The Department currently is reviewing information on this website​ in light of the Integrity Commission's findings. Information relating to specific evidence events or matters on this website should be read in conjunction with the Commission's report.

Note: Pages relating to the FFT and FEP will be archived during 2018 as these programs have concluded.

A range of physical items have been collected since 1998 that indicate fox activity in Tasmania. The increasing accumulation of this evidence, along with a volume of credible fox sighting reports from members of the public, led the Tasmanian Government to initiate a 10-year fox eradication program from 2006 to 2014.

Encouragingly, no physical evidence of fox activity has been collected in Tasmania since July 2011 (see below) and it is hoped that fox eradication has been successful.

However, detecting foxes when they are in low numbers is very difficult and it is important that all members of the Tasmanian community remain vigilant for foxes and signs of their activity.

With millions of foxes on our doorstep on mainland Australia, there can be no doubt that foxes continue to be a real and serious threat to Tasmania's environment, agriculture and economy.

Summary of physical items indicating fox activity in Tasmania that have been collected since 1998:
4 x Fox carcasses
1 x Fox skull
1 x Fox DNA positive blood sample
2 x Sets of fox footprints
61 x Fox-DNA positive scats

March 2012: Fox positive scats confirmed from Burnie and Railton

Results received on Friday 9 March 2012 from the University of Canberra's Institute for Applied Ecology report that two (2) scats have tested positive for fox DNA.

Burnie (1)
Scat collected on 13 July 2011 during strategic monitoring activities. A total of eight fox positive scats have now been confirmed from the Burnie area since 2002.

Railton (1)
Scat collected near Railton on 14 June 2011 during investigations in the area in response to a fox sighting report received from a member of the public.

Since 2007, nine other fox positive scats have been collected from within a 10 km radius of the current scats:

  • 5 x fox positive scats from Spreyton (collected 7 May 2008, 23 June 2008 and 26 Feb 2010)
  • 2 x fox positive scats from Aberdeen (collected 23 Aug 2007 and 19 Mar 2008)
  • 2 x fox positive scats from Barrington (collected 7 May 2008 and 17 June 2008)

The latest physical evidence brings to 61 the total of fox positive scats collected in Tasmania since 2002.


Cleveland Fox 2006 (photographer Richmond Loh)

View the Fox Evidence Updates for the period 2001 - 2011



Invasive Species Enquiries
Invasive Species Branch
Phone: 03 6165 3777