|From:||Alan Cowan <>|
|Date:||Thu, 5 Oct 2017 04:21:12 +0000|
Most people don't realise the numbers of feral cats in Canberra.
At my previous home in an inner suburb I regularly put out a possum trap baited with meat overnight and regularly caught large feral cats. In addition to birds, they also destroy small mammals, frogs, reptiles etc. I remember an acquaintance in WA laughing genially when their cat brought in a dead phascogale. It was the only one I have ever seen.
No-one in government seems too worried. A couple of years ago it was announced that a specific person had been appointed by government in the field of feral predators. I contacted this person and pointed out that the South African National Antarctic Expeditions service had eradicated cats from subantarctic Marion Island by introducing a cat influenza virus. He seemed uninterested. Most subantarctic islands are infested with cats. Macquarie is the shining exception, after much expensive work.
Barry Cohen who was a federal Labour government minister some years ago did show a keen interest at one time in the feral cat problem.
It's hard to know whether foxes or cats are worse: foxes are more conspicuous but feral cats are common and widespread. Both are undoubtedly appallingly destructive. It is hardly surprising that the Painted Button-quail, a ground nester, is only occasionally present in the Stirling Park woodland: it is amazing that they ever maintain a presence there at all. My friend David Hollands who has spent much time in the outback searching for raptors' nests tells me that it is a common experience to find one occupied by cats.
Would the COG consider doing some work on this problem?
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