26 May 2016…All levels of the Western Australian Natural Resource Management (NRM) community came together in Perth recently to examine methods of controlling feral cats to protect our state’s threatened species.
The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council (PHCC)’s CEO Jane O’Malley attended the event, saying it was heartening to see the clear focus on this significant issue from the whole spectrum of WA’s NRM community.
“Feral cats impact heavily on Australia’s unique native wildlife such as numbats through predation and also spread diseases that affect humans and livestock. We have already lost 28 mammal species to feral cats and the survival of another 120 native species are at direct risk. The Feral Cat roundtable drew industry, community and all levels of government together on this issue and will generate excellent outcomes.”
The event was initiated by NRM WA which is made up of the seven Natural Resource Management regions across WA. It attracted members of associations such as Conservation Council of WA, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Bush Heritage, and RSPCA. Sam Dutton, senior advisor at the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner in Canberra, also attended.
Ms O’Malley said communities could take action now to monitor and report feral cats using the nationwide Feral Cat Scan system.
“We urge members of the community to get involved in Feral Cat Scan, an excellent project by the Invasive Animals CRC and Australian Government Department of the Environment. This website (and App) can be used to record sightings and impacts caused by feral cats in your local area.”
Richard McLellan, CEO of Northern Agricultural Catchments Council and NRM representative on the National Feral Cat Taskforce, noted the project focuses only on feral cats and reducing their impacts on native wildlife.
“It does not in any way target domestic or stray cats. ‘Feral cats’ are defined as those that live and reproduce in the wild (e.g. forests and grasslands) and survive by hunting or scavenging. The information you record on Feral Cat Scan will help to identify practical and humane solutions to managing feral cats to reduce their impact on Australia’s unique and precious native wildlife,” he said.
More information on Feral Cat Scan here.
Media Contact: Jane O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer, Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, Jane.Omalley@peel-harvey.org.au, (08) 6369 8800
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