18 September 2023
Controlling pest populations difficult for land managers, who face unique, regionally specific challenges. Hub researchers have recently published a report helping to develop a framework for managing feral cats across all regions in Australia.
Predation from feral cats remains a major threat to many of Australia’s native species. Controlling the populations of these often-elusive animals can be difficult for land managers, who face unique, regionally specific challenges. Hub researchers have recently taken the next step towards developing a framework for managing feral cats across all regions in Australia.
Best-practice management of feral cats and red foxes: workshop 2 report is licensed by University of New England for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia licence. For licence conditions see creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Hub project leaders Dr Annalie Dorph and Associate Professor Guy Ballard from the University of New England recently conducted their second collaborative workshop looking into best-practice management for feral cats and red foxes. The workshop surveyed 24 experts in feral cat management from universities, government and other conservation-focused organisations across Australia and New Zealand.
Experts discussed how combinations of 5 broadly applicable techniques identified in Workshop 1 (aerial baiting, ground baiting, leghold trapping, cage trapping and shooting) could best be applied across 6 different ecoregions and in varying seasonal conditions.
It was generally agreed that an integrated approach using all 5 was most effective, but that trapping and shooting provided only marginal benefits when added to aerial or ground baiting. The experts also agreed that it’s difficult to confidently state how management techniques would differ between ecoregions and conditions.
The Workshop 2 report recommends further research which carefully monitors the effect of management techniques on feral cat populations in various conditions. It also outlines the potential to explore alternative techniques such as grooming traps or habitat modification.
Read more in the Workshop 2 report.
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