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Feral cat and fox control at Piccaninny Plains
There are no foxes at Piccaninny Plains. The population of feral cats is unknown.
Across Australia, feral cats are killing at least 75 million native animals every night. At this point in time, there is no effective mechanism for eradicating cats at a landscape level. However, at Piccaninny Plains and other properties, AWC is leading the way in developing and implementing a strategy for limiting their impact:
- 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.
- Targeted shooting of feral cats is undertaken as they concentrate around water holes in the late dry season. This appears to improve the efficiency of shooting as a control method, with 25 cats removed in this way during 2014.
- In conjunction with our cat research based at Mornington-Marion Downs, we are undertaking Australia’s largest feral cat research program in an attempt to unlock the secret to eradicating feral cats.
- On Piccaninny Plains, detailed research on the habitat and hunting preferences of feral cats will commence in 2014.