Dingo - Fox - Ground Bird Relationship

To: "" <>
Subject: Dingo - Fox - Ground Bird Relationship
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2016 05:09:02 +0000
The experience in Western Australia seems to indicate that feral cats
are the biggest threat to Western Ground Parrots. Possibly the same
for the small to mid size mammals.

WA has an extensive Western Shield baiting program (1080) in many
reserves. This keeps fox numbers well down. But this seems to have
led to a significant increase in the number of feral cats, presumably
because foxes predated the cats (or least the kittens).

Western Ground Parrots are no longer in the Cheyne Beach /
Waychinicup area east of Albany. The numbers in the Fitzgerald River
NP have also plummeted. Both these areas are heavily baited for
foxes. Feral cats are believed to have been the reason for the WGP
decline. They are now trialing Eradicat baits (that also have 1080)
in Cape Arid NP, and this seems to be successful, although the WGP
numbers have dropped due to fire. In one test, they caught a number
of feral cats, put radio collars on them and released them, and then
aerial baited with Eradicat. They found all but one of the radio
collared cats dead, and the other could not be found. Either dead
underground, or left the area. The Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot)
numbers greatly increased after the trial, and I think some of the
other small mammals.

They released Boodies (Burrowing Bettongs) in the Gibson Desert about
a decade or more ago. They seemed to be doing well until a feral cat
located the colony and wiped them out. DPaW (then CALM) started
developing and testing Eradicat back then. But it takes a lot of
effort. To keep a 1km square area cat free for a period, they baited
something like 3x3 kms (or maybe more), and this had to be done up to
4 times a year.

At Dryandra State Forest, they released Bilbies. Again, it seemed to
be the feral cats that wiped them out. They had planned to restore a
number of animals to Dryandra, but this has now been put on indefinite hold.

We are fortunate in south west WA that 1080 can be easily used, as
the native animals have a very high tolerance of it due to its
presence in some native plants.

Frank O'Connor                          Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694               Email : 

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