Feral cat and fox control at Wongalara

Feral cat and fox control at Wongalara

There are no foxes at Wongalara.  The population of feral cats is unknown.

Feral cat caught on camera trap at WongalaraAcross Australia, feral cats are killing tens of millions of native animals every night.  At this point in time, there is no effective mechanism for eradicating cats at a landscape level.  However, at Wongalara 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 (see below) and delivering effective fire management – this limits the impact of feral cats by ensuring native animals have more cover and easier access to food.
  • Wongalara feral cat releaseWe protect dingo populations because dingoes influence the behaviour of feral cats by harassing and sometimes killing them.
  • 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 Wongalara, the density of feral cats and dingos is being monitored annually using camera-trap arrays.  No significant change in density has been recorded since monitoring began in 2007.
    • We also constructed at Wongalara the first cat-free fenced areas in northern Australia: these have been used as part of research intended to quantify the impact of cats and design strategies for reintroducing regionally extinct small mammals.

Tegan May releases a GPS collared cat to collect movement data on Wongalara - E. Page