PICTURE: Feral cat enters native animal burrow
Cats are out-competing native animals
A recent research article by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub is a wake up call regarding the devastating effect that cats (feral and pet cats) have on our native biodiversity.
Some key takeaway points include:
- Domestic cats were introduced to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788, with many subsequent introductions around the mainland and to many Australian islands. Cats now occur in all habitats across Australia and occupy more habitats than all other introduced mammals, such as foxes and rabbits.
- Cats, as carnivores, take a very wide range of prey, including invertebrates, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals, from small beetles to mammals almost as large as themselves (up to about 4 kg which is the size of small wallabies).
- Overall, cats in Australia kill more than 1.8 million reptiles, 1.1 million birds, and 3.1 million mammals every day.
- Most of this toll is caused by feral cats living in the bush (72%), but feral cats in towns, and pet cats, also kill large numbers of animals:
- Pet cats – 3.8 million
- Feral cats in urban areas – 0.7 million
- Feral cats in the bush – 2.1 million (up to 5.6 million after good rain)
Safeguard for fauna from ferocious invaders.
For too long feral cats have been destroying native wildlife. Hopefully this will be a control method that greatly reduces their numbers on the prowl. FAME video of Felixer control system