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The answer to yesterday’s midweek mystery question is … the Purple Swamp Hen.

Some Berry residents have caught sight of them.

Cambewarra folk say they haven't been seen for decades. Its reappearance follows 18 months of continuous fox baiting along the Tapitallee Creek corridor, as part of the Shoalhaven Fox Control Program.

Peter Jirgens and other property owners along the Tapitallee Creek corridor started laying fox baits in 2018

Purple Swamp Hens are mainly ground dwelling native birds, making them an easy target for the European Fox.

"I even saw a female on the nest recently, which shows they are starting to breed and thrive now that foxes are no longer impacting them," Peter said.

In the 38 years Peter has lived on his property, he has also noticed Eastern Long Necked Tortoises, which have been able to successfully hatch their eggs around his dam. Tortoise eggs are favoured by foxes, who dig them up and eat them.

The Shoalhaven Fox Control Program is a community lead program, run by the Shoalhaven Landcare Association.

Photo: Simon Cherrimen.


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