feral cats

To: <>
Subject: feral cats
From: "Stephen" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2015 14:49:14 +1100
The loss of a Night Parrot to a feral cat is sad and dismaying, especially
as it is merely a known case among other unknowns, presumably.

The unfortunate truth is that feral cats are now part of Australia's fauna,
along with foxes, cane toads etc. Despite many calls here for governments to
do something, nothing can be done. Cats, like rabbits, are rapid breeders,
and their biggest enemies are other cats eager for a vacant territory and
food supply. Remove a cat, and you create a space for a grown kitten that
otherwise might starve, as most young of most species do.

To permanently affect a local population of cats there would need to be
constant efforts of eradication, and even that would merely keep numbers
low. That effort across a continent is impossible. 

A potential answer may be a genetically engineered virus for cats, both
deadly and virulent. Were such developed, it could not be used lest it
escape Australia to destroy native cats of all types in the old world.

Cats and foxes are an undoubted threat to birds and other native animals,
but the greater threat probably is habitat loss through clearing, grazing,
weeds, fire-regimes etc, etc.

I don't have an answer; I just have a fear for these vulnerable species.

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