A Brigantine woman has started a petition demanding the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection stop killing foxes at the state-owned North Brigantine Natural Area.

Donna DeAngelis has about 700 of the 1,000 signatures she is seeking, according to her posting on Care2 Petitions.

The DEP contracts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to trap and shoot the foxes to protect the endangered piping plover shore bird. Foxes eat the birds, which nest on beach sand, and their eggs.

There are only about 100 pairs of piping plover left in New Jersey, while the red fox is plentiful and thrives in close proximity to people, according to the DEP.

It is legal to trap the red fox, and the DEP statistics show about 9,000 of them are taken by trapping each year statewide.

The petition states that trapping while the vixens are in their dens with kits would catch males and leave mother and pups to starve.

“Citizens are outraged, but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” the petition states.

“Some residents claim they have seen traps, snares, or even poisoned foxes ... but one thing is sadly for certain ... most of the foxes are gone from the island,” according to the petition.

“We, the tax-paying citizens, deserve to have a voice in the decision-making process rather than it being hidden from us until all the foxes have been killed,” the petition says. “We deserve the right to be part of the solution. ... Stop killing our foxes, NOW!”

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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