Thanks Geoffrey, I agree.
I have also (responsibly) owned cats and I think that cats are earning an ill-deserved reputation to some degree. They certainly cannot be blamed for their
natural instincts and are not the only predators of native birds.
As for Mark’s comment about a domestic cat killing a Crested Pigeon, while I don’t approve of cats killing any birds, Crested Pigeons are a complete nuisance
in my area as there are far too many.
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Sunday, 8 October 2017 7:38 PM
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Feral and irresponsibly owned Cats
Yes Mark - I think most will agree with your sentiments, although I think we should bear in mind that some COG/chatline members will own a cat.
The blurring of ‘feral (gone wild) cats’ with wandering domestic (irresponsibly owned) cats is likely to blur also the policy response. They raise separate
issues. The former are to be exterminated. The latter (setting aside DIY counter-measures by those with the inclination) are a major problem to which the resources of the state (or territory) are yet to be brought to bear in a serious way.
From: Mark Clayton
Sent: Sunday, 8 October 2017 6:44 PM
To: 'David Rees'; 'Fleur r Leary'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Feral Cats
As far as I am concerned ANY cat outside the confines of its owners house is a feral cat. I have been plagued by a Siamese cat whose owner doesn’t care if it
wanders or not. If I catch it this moggie will be learning to swim on the bottom of Lake Ginninderra. I know that this cat has killed at least one Crested Pigeon in my backyard and I have seen it at least 500 metres from its owners house. The only bell that
will work on cats is Big Ben!! If people don’t like that then too bad, I am sick of seeing wandering cats around my local area. All cats need to be desexed!!
From: David Rees
Sent: Sunday, 8 October 2017 6:35 PM
To: Fleur r Leary
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Feral Cats
Could it be that by reducing the number of domestic cats 'out and about' in such suburbs you make it easier for feral cats to take advantage of the vacuum.
On Sun, Oct 8, 2017 at 5:42 PM, Fleur r Leary <> wrote:
Regrettably even in so called “cat containment” suburbs, cats are out and about …...
On 7 Oct 2017, at 10:34 PM, steven <> wrote:
Sad story about the phascogale, I also havr never seen a live one, let alone a dead one. Perhaps governments won't go overly public about the feral cat problem because
there's just a touch of animal sentiment involved, i.e. cats are familiar as a pet to so many people. It wouldn't take much to inflate this small amount of vague sentiment for moggies to a raging 'anti-cull' protest., thus making the whole venture politically
unsavoury. Brumbies may be a useful analogy. The birds which fall victims on the other hand are varied and diverse, whereas what the cause needs is a simple poster-child that people can relate to. Perhaps we should use a few well-known species of bird which
are commonly taken by cats to promote their cause.
Sent from my Samsung GALAXY S5
-------- Original message --------
From: Suzanne EDGAR <>
Date: 7/10/2017 7:19 PM (GMT+10:00)
To: 'canberrabirds' <>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Feral Cats
Have 4 different cats invading my bird sanctuary back yard currently, @ different times
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?