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Feral cat and fox control at Mt Gibson
Feral cats and foxes occur at high densities across much of southwestern Australia.
At Mt Gibson, AWC has established the largest fox and cat-free area on mainland Western Australia. This 7,800 hectare area is surrounded by a feral-proof fence: the fence is 6 feet high with a skirt, an overhang and electric wires. The eradication of foxes and cats from within this area involved a combination of trapping, shooting and baiting.
The establishment of the massive feral-free area is important because conservation fencing is the only strategy which effectively protects endangered mammals from cats. Some of the mammals to be reintroduced – such as the Western Barred Bandicoot, the Greater Stick-nest Rat and the Banded Hare Wallaby – now survive only on offshore (cat-free) islands or within mainland, fenced islands.
Outside the feral-free area, a range of measures will be employed to reduce the density of foxes and cats. However, while baiting can be employed to reduce fox densities, there is no effective landscape-scale control for cats (cats do not generally take bait). AWC is at the forefront of efforts to develop effective strategies for cat control. Read more about feral cat control at Mornington.