Draft ACT cat plan released for public comment

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Draft ACT cat plan released for public comment
From: Martin Butterfield <>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 03:18:47 +0000
Far be it from me to argue against measures to control cats.  However I agree with Philip that the comment about them killing 100,000 Rosellas a year is a very large overstatement.  I have played around with some GBS data - and a bunch of dodgy assumptions - and that number is just not believable.  I wonder if there is not an extra zero on the estimate?

On Mon, 8 Apr 2019 at 11:54, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Thanks for that. A part of this extract states that “An ACT study has estimated that domestic cats kill more than 100,000 rosellas in Canberra each year.”. What, just rosellas? This is surely just weird. What study would find that? When there is a serious issue, it is important to remain realistic about problems, otherwise we will just be laughed at.  If that were so we would not have many rosellas left. Rosellas are still a major and probably stable or increasing part of our bird community (Ref The GBS Report and subsequent COG ABR). In the years that I have had rosellas breeding in the box in my yard, (as best as someone can tell) all adults have survived very well throughout the breeding process. If cats were killing that many rosellas, that would not happen. Sure there are differing results from different studies. How many studies are there to draw on for such estimates? In going to the site linked below, I quickly found this other quote: “A Canberra research project (Barrat 1998) estimated that free roaming but owned Canberra cats predated on 61,000 native birds, 2000 native mammals, 30,000 native reptiles and 6000 native frogs each year.” At least that appears to be referenced. To get from 61,000 native birds to 100,000 just rosellas is absurd. Someone has their wires crossed.




From: Jenny Bounds [
Sent: Monday, 8 April, 2019 8:41 AM
To: 'COG Chat'
Subject: [canberrabirds] Draft ACT cat plan released for public comment


Greetings, I am forwarding information about the ACT Draft cat plan which has just been released for public input/comments.  I understand there is a 12 weeks consultation period.  The Conservation Council of which COG is an active member, has been working on improving arrangements for control of domestic cats for some years.  Over time, a number of new suburbs in ACT have been declared cat containment, eg Forde, Bonner and Throsby next to Mulligans Flat.  Now is the time for those concerned about better protection for biodiversity in our city to have their say to Government.  Please take the time to have a look at the Plan – link below - and put in your views.



COG Conservation Officer


6 April 2019


Draft cat plan up for discussion

The Conservation Council ACT Region has welcomed today’s release of the Draft ACT Cat Plan, and encouraged the community to get involved in the consultation over the next three months.

“This is a great opportunity for community discussion on how we can improve outcomes for both domestic cats and our native wildlife” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director at the Conservation Council ACT Region.

“Canberrans are very lucky to be surrounded by unique and beautiful bush areas, however living so close to nature means native wildlife is more vulnerable to predation from roaming domestic cats.

“Cats are known to roam both during the day and at night, up to 1km from their homes, and unfortunately hunt many species of birds and animals. An ACT study has estimated that domestic cats kill more than 100,000 rosellas in Canberra each year.

"Cat containment means keeping your cat either inside the house or in an outside area where it can’t leave the premises. 

“The good news is that keeping cats contained is not only good for wildlife, it also has benefits for your cat - uncontained cats are four times more likely than contained cats to suffer significant injures at least once a year

"The Draft ACT Cat Plan discusses options to expand cat containment in the ACT, such as gradually adding cat containment suburbs, putting in place requirements for new pet cats to be contained or simply declaring all suburbs cat containment.  

"The Conservation Council supports the whole of the ACT becoming a cat containment area by 2025. 

“While we know that cat containment measures in suburbs have been effective, given the spread of our native wildlife, and how far cats can roam, a uniform approach across all suburbs would be more successful in protecting native wildlife. 

“The 2025 timeline gives cat owners time to transition cats to being contained, and also means that new cat owners can be informed of the upcoming measures and get their cat used to being contained.

“Most people want to be responsible cat owners. This means caring for the health and wellbeing of your cat, and taking responsibility for your cat’s impact on wildlife”, said Ms Oakey.

The Draft ACT Cat Plan 2019-29 is available here.


Media comment:

Helen Oakey, Executive Director, ACT Conservation Council, 0402 052 777



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