THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries is operating a fox baiting program in forests near Avoca, Maryborough, Lockwood and Heathcote in attempt to reduce the number of foxes.
DEPI Murray Goldfields forester-in-charge Paul Bates said the baiting would focus on the boundary areas of state forests adjacent to farmland to reduce the economic and environmental damage cause by foxes.
"The program aims to protect native wildlife, especially small ground dwelling birds, reptiles and mammals," he said.
"It will also reduce the impact that foxes have on nearby livestock, so baiting at this time of year is important because it will reduce fox numbers in time for the next lambing season."
Mr Bates said the baiting was part of the Good Neighbour program, which helps to treat pest problems along the boundaries between public and private land.
He said DEPI would use buried baits containing sodium monofluoroacetate, which is an effective method of controlling fox populations but don't pose a risk to humans and other animals if handled incorrectly.
"Signs will be placed at entrances to the areas that are part of the program and we urge pet owners to take note of the signs and closely supervise dogs being walked in the baited area," he said.
"Due to the risk these baits could pose to domestic animals, we ask landholders to ensure their dogs and other pets are confined to their property."
Baiting will take place in One Eye, Glenmona, Wareek and Lockwood state forests.