NJ DEP Admits to Shooting The Brigantine Red Fox

brigantine fox kill shoot dep NJ


Our beloved Brigantine red fox has been mysteriously disappearing. Whats going on?

Over the past few years, many have noticed a dramatic decrease in fox sightings in Brigantine. What gives? Are these foxes being killed, trapped or shot dead? Is the State of NJ involved? That answer is ‘all of the above.’

NJ DEP claims Brigantine fox kill is needed to protect endangered birds like the piping plover.


Is the New Jersey DEP poisoning the Brigantine fox? No, says the DEP. According to NJ.com, they shoot them.

“Fox prey on birds and their eggs. They’re a threat to endangered species,” says the DEP. “But we can’t just relocate them – that would just move the problem somewhere else … We want humane control. So, the fox is trapped and euthanized by a gun.

According to the State of NJ, the Division of Fish and Wildlife contracts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to trap foxes and handle population control in Brigantine.

Red Fox

Reports and photographic evidence of poisoned Brigantine Foxes are popping up more often. Foxes rotting in snare traps, found among the Northend Brigantine dunes.

Trapping of fox does occur on federally protected land like the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, north of Brigantine.

Foxes are also trapped on municipal beaches. DFW secures permission from the municipality, like Brigantine, in these cases. Legal trapping season in Brigantine runs from November through March 15.

Read more at NJ.com

May M.:  By protecting shorebirds, they condone killing Brigantine foxes. That’s horrible. When all those birds hatch, they are flying around everywhere. What ever happened to survival of the fittest? Let nature take it’s course. Stop killing the Brigantine fox.

Residents and Brigantine beach lovers should keep an eye on things. See something? Say something.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

  • Bruno says:

    I don’t often reference the Washington Post – it is not one of my favorite sources for ‘news’ and ‘political fact’. Having said that, and although it pains me to do so, this article perfectly sums up the ridiculous efforts on the part of the NJ DEP to inflict their personal beliefs in an effort to protect one species over another. Perhaps the Red Knot and the Piping Plover demand more sympathy from these poor misguided souls due to the fact that these birds are not carnivores or omnivores. Perhaps they just need something to make their lives meaningful and going to church just doesn’t do it for them any longer so they want to change the world in some small way. No matter – it is time to allow our great diversity of wildlife to evolve naturally as Darwin showed us is the natural methodology so many years ago. We are simply men – not God. We don’t change the glacial flow of evolution no matter how hard some may try. This article sagely states “Invasion and extinction are the regenerative and rejuvenating mechanisms of evolution, the engines of biodiversity.” We should allow nature to take its own course. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/we-dont-need-to-save-endangered-species-extinction-is-part-of-evolution/2017/11/21/57fc5658-cdb4-11e7-a1a3-0d1e45a6de3d_story.html?utm_term=.768b6edb2d0b

    • Roger says:

      very good Bruno, but then the DEP state workers wouldn’t have job security – lucrative pay, benefits & pension .. it’s always about the money

  • Angela Di Somma says:

    It’s sad.I used to enjoy seeing the foxes run on the golf course & the northend beach.It’s what helped to make this island unique.Now,they are being eliminated to protect another species that is supposedly endangered.What about protecting them?

  • Bob Tuvock says:

    We must unite and make them stop killing our foxes

  • Cb says:

    I am a nature lover both birds and animals. I feel that nature should be left alone, she will balance it out, we should just leave it to her Mother always knows best.

  • Sw says:

    Horrible
    The foxes are being foxes
    Survival of the fittest
    Stop killing these beautiful animals….place the nesting birds in a sanctuary and protect the eggs if that’s the worry. I didn’t read a complaint about harm to children or any person, or property,
    Just a fox being a fox 🦊 Just Stop

  • Joanne says:

    Hopefully the beach goers do not get in the birds way or they will do away with us. Leave the foxes alone. They make Brigantine special and never bother anyone.

    • Keith+Fagan says:

      Perhaps we should start a trap and release program for them instead. It would make more sense…LOL.

  • Lauren Cooke says:

    Is the decision here left with any Officials of Brigantine? I would look into the process

  • Jennifer says:

    The dep has had control of the north end for years now and they let the fox’s go why all the sudden are they killing them now when plovers have been hatching on the north end for years now? It’s just wrong in so many ways.

  • Donna mauter says:

    I am angered by the killing of the foxes!!!! There is a natural circle of life. There is an increase in rats , mice when these beautiful animals are killed inhumanity. I’m asking my congressman to stop this practice.

  • Keith Fagan says:

    The red knot is critically endangered, and the piping plover well on its way, in part due to the harvesting of horseshoe crabs, upon whose eggs they rely, and partly due to climate change altering the peak time for said food source. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and you can’t just move the nests. Having said that, the municipal trapping and release of foxes has proven effective. Fox will always need to be removed from the island periodically, so long as humans inhabit it, because our waste is a great source of food, allowing them the luxury of overpopulating, which will put the birds’ (and other species) continuance at risk, but the humans of Brigantine want them there. They enjoy them, value them, and they certainly don’t have to kill them. The defense of the NJ DEP that the fox will simply do the same elsewhere is ridiculous, since they are not released onto other islands, but instead the mainland. Fox are clever and adaptable, and evolved in a woodland habitat, so placing them back in one does little harm. In fact, it can be beneficial, restoring a bit of the predator-prey balance that is now so skewed throughout much of the US due to our past wholesale slaughter of anything that might attack livestock. There’s no reason we can’t continue to protect these critically endangered birds AND avoid killing fox.

  • Dawn says:

    Please stop killing these animals. Seems very inhuman. What’s next killing feral cats? This has to stop, it shouldn’t be legal. It’s called the circle of life . We are in their way. Let them live .

  • Jamie says:

    Absolutely unacceptable and shocking!

  • Jack Austin says:

    Both, birds and foxes, play a part in the natural ecosystem. What is needed is a balance. If you are going to kill the foxes why not live trap them and release them in the Pine Barrens. My family does miss the foxes on the island. I would donate to a cause of this type.

  • Bob Van Meter says:

    As with most attempts to mess with mother nature elimination of the foxes will result in an increase in raccoons, rabbits, rats and some other critters as well, I’m sure. Raccoons love eggs! I am totally against this outrage.

  • Lorene frank says:

    The piping plover is no more valuable than our red fox who has been a symbol for Brigantine for many yrs. people love the foxes and their kits. I have many memories for the last 60 yrs. Time to advocate for the Fox! I am.

  • Susan says:

    Agree with the comments above. Leave the foxes alone!!!!!!!

  • Cat says:

    I can’t. I’m too upset!

  • Sarah Vaughan says:

    There is no reason why anyone needs to interfere with nature.
    The fox is trying to survive, DEP is the problem they most certainly can trap and release to a new location. They are just too lazy and too cheap to do their jobs properly. I’m sure they haven’t even given the trap and release a try. There are plenty of good folks and organizations who would volunteer to help.
    This is just another example of humans bringing the chaos, evil and destruction to nature. People that hold no morals or values. This world needs a reset button.This makes me absolutely sick.

  • Joseph says:

    This is horrible!! What can be done to stop this?

  • Annoyomous says:

    Appalled and disgusted by the fox killings!
    The fox are defenseless living creatures.
    Humans, and their dogs that they allow to run unleashed freely on the beaches also disturb and kill piping plovers and other endangered species. So do cats whose owners purposefully allow outside on the island. Why are the foxes being singled out and killed and not these other perpetrators also?

    I have nothing personal against the NJDEP and they state that the males are trapped and euthanized (shot) which they state is more humane than the snare traps and poison (which are the other documented methods also being used to eliminate the fox). However, it is not publicized that the females and her kits die a horrible death of starvation in their dens when the males do not return with food. How inhumane and simply wrong!

    Malibu Beach Wildlife Management , commonly known as “Dog Beach” in Somers Point is another perfect example of the same type of wrongdoing. While a portion of the beach is off-limits to dogs and humans – again, “as a nesting habitat for threatened and endangered birds”, dogs are allowed to be unleashed and are seen in the nesting sites on a daily basis throughout the entire nesting season. Dogs and their owners are not trapped and shot and, to my knowledge, there has never been any enforcement for the protection of the “endangered species” there by ticketing and fining those that disobey the laws.

    The fox are not the real problem and the killings are certainly not the solution. We humans are the problem and should have the intelligence to find another way. A thought would be to give back all of the real natural nesting sites that we “humans” took away from them by over-development of our islands and the beaches and by keeping ourselves and our animals off their habitats.
    https://www.fws.gov/northeast/pipingplover/pdf/catseat.pdf

  • Bob Tuvock says:

    Rabbits and squirrels are overrunning the island thanks to the diminished fox population thanks njdep

  • Bob Tuvock says:

    Rabbits are out of control on the island
    The city needs to do something about it

  • Bob Tuvock says:

    Brigantine is being overrun with rabbits
    Something has to be done
    We need more foxes

  • Bob+Tuvock says:

    I love our foxes please save them