AWC research at Newhaven in Central Australia has shed new light on the boom and bust cycle of Australia’s deserts – challenging the perception that all arid zone bird populations rise and fall in correlation with high and low seasons of rainfall. For many iconic species at Newhaven, such as the Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, the newly published research suggests it is all boom and no bust.Read more...
Feral cat and fox control at Newhaven
Feral cats and foxes occur across central Australia. They are a primary cause of the disappearance of many small-medium sized mammals.
Establishing the planet's largest feral cat eradication project
Newhaven is set to host a project of global biodiversity significance – the
establishment of a massive feral cat-free area covering at least 650 square kilometres (65,000 hectares). This will be the planet’s largest feral cat eradication project. A conservation fence will be constructed around at least 650 square kilometres (65,000 hectares), protecting a diverse array of habitats including spinifex-clad dunes, rocky escarpments, bloodwood sandplains and ephemeral wetlands. Within this area, feral cats and foxes will be removed and rabbit densities will be suppressed to negligible levels, paving the way for the historic reintroduction of central Australia’s lost mammals. Read more about the project here.
Monitoring, trapping and baiting
Cat and fox populations on Newhaven are monitored annually using a passive activity index. With the assistance of Nyirripi and Yuendumu Indigenous Ranger groups, track surveys are carried out across a network of 70 permanent monitoring sites.
In early 2014, AWC began a collaborative project with Desert Wildlife Services to implement cat trapping and fox baiting in key habitat for threatened species.
Science and research
More generally, AWC is undertaking detailed research across our network of sanctuaries (for example, our work at Mornington) to develop more effective, landscape-scale control of feral cats.