Feral cat and fox control

Feral cats kill tens of millions of native animals every night and are found across Australia. Unfortunately, there are currently no effective strategies for landscape-scale control of feral cats. However, AWC is at the forefront of efforts to reduce the impact of cats.

We are conducting the largest feral cat research program in Australia’s history in an attempt to unlock the secret to eradicating feral cats.
AWC has collared more than 50 cats with GPS tracking devices at Mornington-Marion Downs which has provided an in-depth understanding of their ecology and impacts.
We have developed the largest and most advanced monitoring program to more accurately measure cat densities using camera traps to identify individuals. The population of feral cats on Mornington-Marion Downs is estimated at approximately 1,200 cats.
AWC has two specially-trained feral-cat detector dogs at Mornington.
We protect ground cover by controlling feral herbivores and delivering effective fire management – this limits the impact of feral cats by ensuring native animals have more cover and easier access to food.
We protect dingo populations because dingoes influence the behaviour of feral cats by harassing and sometimes killing them.

We manage more feral cat and fox-free areas on mainland Australia than any other organisation:

Foxes are found in central and southern Australia, but not in most of northern Australia. Along with cats, foxes are having a severe impact on native wildlife populations. AWC implements a range of fox control measures including baiting, shooting and the use of M44s (special devices that inject poison only if triggered by foxes).

Feral predator-free fenced areas

One critical strategy for reducing the impact of foxes and cats is the establishment of large feral-free areas surrounded by conservation fences. AWC is Australia’s leading proponent of conservation fencing. We have established 3 substantial feral predator-free areas on mainland Australia and are currently establishing a fourth such area:

Scotia, in western NSW, contains a feral predator-free area of 8,000 hectares. This is the largest fox and cat-free area on mainland Australia.
Yookamurra, in South Australia, is 1,100 hectares.
Karakamia, in Western Australia, is 250 hectares.
Mt Gibson in Western Australia, is 7,800 hectares.

In addition, AWC manages the 5,000 hectare, world heritage-listed Faure Island (at the time of the feral eradication program, this was the third largest island in the world from which cats had been eradicated).

Hugh McGregor fitting a radio-collar on a cat.


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WildLife Rules!: Feral cat and fox control
Feral cat and fox control
WildLife Rules!
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