Feral cats kill over 2,000 native animals every minute

Feral cats kill over 2,000 native animals every minute
Field Programs
Feral cat and fox control | Wildlife translocations
Wildlife
Mala / Rufous Hare-wallaby

May 2018

AWC feral cat strategy features in recent national media:

"The radical scheme to save our native creatures" - The Weekend Australian

"Gene war strategy to rub out feral cats" - The Weekend Australian

Feral cats kill more than 1 million birds, more than 1 million reptiles, and more than 1 million mammals in Australia every day.  Action is urgently needed to protect and restore populations of our most vulnerable wildlife and identify a solution to the feral cat crisis. 

  • There are millions of feral cats in Australia [see Legge et al. 2017].
  • Feral cats are killing more than one million birds, more than 1 million reptiles, and more than 1 million mammals in Australia every day. (see Woinarski et al. 2017, 2018)

This means that feral cats are killing more than 2,000 native animals every minute across Australia. 

AWC has a strategy (see below) to save Australia’s wildlife from feral cats.

Please donate now to help AWC protect endangered wildlife and reduce the impact of feral cats.

$50 will help purchase a humane soft jaw leg trap for feral cats

$100 will purchase a cage trap for catching feral cats

$300 will fund a trained AWC land manager to spend one night shooting feral cats

$500 will fund the AWC team, including Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers, to clear almost 20 hectares of feral cats

$1,000 will fund a scientist delivering research in the field for 2 days

$2,000 will help purchase a GPS collar for essential scientific research. 

$5,000 will support research informing the development of gene drive technology solution (eg, causing feral cats to become sterile). 

Make a tax deductible donation to help save Australia’s native wildlife.

 

Your donation will help AWC deliver effective, on-ground action to address the impact of feral cats. 

  1. Establishing a national network of feral cat-free areas

AWC manages more cat-free land than any other organisation on mainland Australia.  Within 12 months, there will be 6 feral cat-free areas of greater than 5,000 hectares on mainland Australia – 5 of these will be managed by AWC.  Our feral-free areas provide a secure refuge for wild populations of some of Australia’s most endangered mammals.

  1. Developing and implementing best practice feral cat control (“beyond the fence”)

AWC implements direct feral cat control (eg, trapping, shooting and indigenous tracking) and indirect control (management of ground cover and dingoes), as well as undertaking ground-breaking scientific research on feral cat ecology in order to improve the effectiveness of control strategies.

  1. Investing in gene drive technology

AWC has signed an agreement with CSIRO to explore whether gene drive technology can be utilised to effectively remove feral cats from the landscape – for example, by causing feral cats to become sterile or to have only male kittens.  Initial priorities include: (a) completing a genome for feral cats and, in particular, having sex chromosomes mapped and sequenced; and (b) undertaking the extensive research required to better understand the population ecology and mating behaviour of feral cats (critical information to ensure the spread of any genetic control).  This is a long term project but it is potentially our best hope in finding an effective continent-wide solution.

AWC recently featured on ABC Landline for our feral-free fencing at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary. You can watch the video here.

 

Feral cats kill over 2,000 native animals every MINUTE. 

Please help protect Australia’s wildlife from feral cats.

$50 will help purchase a humane soft jaw leg trap for feral cats

$100 will purchase a cage trap for catching feral cats

$300 will fund a trained AWC land manager to spend one night shooting feral cats

$500 will fund the AWC team, including Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers, to clear almost 20 hectares of feral cats

$1,000 will fund a scientist delivering research in the field for 2 days

$2,000 will help purchase a GPS collar for essential scientific research.  

$5,000 will support research informing the development of gene drive technology solution (eg, causing feral cats to become sterile).  

Media enquiries: Heather Paterson 0407 375 177 

 

References

  • Legge et al. (2017) Enumerating a continental-scale threat: How many feral cats are in Australia?, Biological Conservation 206, 293-303
  • Woinarski et al. (2017) How many birds are killed by cats in Australia? Biological Conservation 214, 76-87
  • Woinarski et al. (2018) How many reptiles are killed by cats in Australia? Wildlife Research, in press.