WA Feral Cat Working Group

A Working Group to improve native fauna conservation trajectories with a focus on effective and humane management of feral cats

The WA Feral Cat Working Group held its first meeting on 28 April 2020.  The meeting was beautifully chaired by Hon Kerry Sanderson, and being a Zoom meeting (for COVID social distancing) didn’t take away the excitement of getting this fabulous group of people together to focus on the objective:

The Working Group are:

Hon Kerry Sanderson, AC CVO Chair WAFCWG
Dr Dave Algar Member National Feral Cat Taskforce
Tim Allard CEO Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Professor Simon McKirdy Chairman WA Biosecurity Council
Elisabeth McLellan Manager Bush Heritage Australia
Jane O’Malley CEO PHCC (on behalf NRM WA)
Dr Rachel Paltridge Member Indigenous Desert Alliance
Dr Fran Stanley Executive Director DBCA
Dr Bruce Webber Program Director WABSI

A big thank you to Naomi Briggs who is volunteering 4-5 hours a week to support the group, and did a great job of capturing the minutes of the meeting.

Once the group introduced themselves to each other they got to business and discussed and endorsed:

  • Objective:  To improve the trajectory of WA native fauna conservation outcomes through collaborative, effective, resource-efficient and humane management of feral cats.
  • Terms of Reference
  • Endorsement of the Membership of the Working Group
  • Endorsement of the Membership of the Advisory Group (with 2 additions recommended)
  • Set priorities against each of the 3 pillars (Accessible Information, Prioritised Research, Co-ordinated Management) – as the starting point for the plan of action for the Working Group
  • The Group also discussed communications protocols and the proposed communications plan

On behalf of the Working Group the PHCC submitted an application for funding to Lotterywest for the employment of an officer to support the Group (and develop a website and hold another Symposium).  Unfortunately this application was not successful because Lotterywest have diverted all funds to COVID-19.  So, we are looking for alternative funding sources to help in this space.  In the meantime the PHCC, WABSI, Bush Heritage and others (with Naomi’s support) are keeping things moving until we get more permanent/dedicated resources in this space.

Major outcomes of the funding application to Lotterywest included:

  • Supporting the Working Group through administration and research support activities
  • Website development and maintenance
  • Indigenous consultation, knowledge sharing and improving cross-organisation collaborative opportunities
  • 2021/22 WA Feral Cat Symposium

Watch this space as we, as a state, collaborative start to roll out the action plan.

For more on the group, and to read about the launch please see: https://peel-harvey.org.au/wa-feral-cat-working-group/

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present