A problem with cats, even under well-controlled conditions, is that keeping
them legitimizes the ownership of such animals. A couple of decades ago I
had a cat, and next thing my Indigenous relatives were buying kittens and
taking them out to Arnhem Land. They are now doing the same thing with the
exotic plants that grace our streets.
When the cat died I never replaced him. Since then I've only seen one
kitten at Baby Dreaming . However, it's not going to be so easy to stop the
flow of other pests.
A few years ago, at the highest point of the escarpment near Baby Dreaming,
I met a cane toad. On the same trip, with a group of herpetologists from
Museum Victoria and the NT Museum, I found the largest Knob-tailed Gecko,
Nephrurus sheai, that I'd ever seen.
When Wayne Longmore showed it to Esther, my then 80-year-old sister and the
senior traditional owner, she looked surprised and then told him that he
should see the size of that gecko's "mother"! I have the exchange on tape!
Cats added to cane toads don't spell disaster for the native wildlife of the
Top End. But Gamba Grass does. It's out of control in areas around Darwin
and Litchfield National Park.
When this grass turns up in Arnhem Land, there'll be no stopping it.
Denise L Goodfellow
on 13/6/08 6:52 PM, Robert Inglis at wrote:
> Carl Clifford wrote (Fri, 13 Jun 2008 16:42:03 +1000):
> "It seems that the authorities here regard the the potential ecological
> impacts [of savannah cats] are pretty much the same as for a normal cat,
> though I think they might be fooling themselves."
> Carl, the threat seems the same to me, so, perhaps they aren't fooling
> themselves after all?
> I am a bit naive in regards to this topic but....
> Does desexing a cat cause it to not be interested in hunting and killing or
> does it only take its mind off sex?
> I would have thought the hunting bits are still intact but the sex bits
> After all, hunting is for food. Sex is for continuing the line.
> Even if the creature is no longer interested in continuing the line it still
> might be interested in eating.
> Or having a bit of gratuitous violent fun.
> I have always thought that the basic purpose of "desexing" pet cats (and
> dogs) was to prevent them from going forth and multiplying, not necessarily
> to stop them from destroying native wildlife. Although.........there does
> seem to be a common belief that desexed cats (and dogs) spend their days
> simply lying around the house trying to work out what they are missing out
> I'm with them there!
> Bob Inglis
> Sandstone Point
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