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Feral cats targeted in karri forest

16 December 2016
  • $150,000 for a trial of baiting feral cats to protect native wildlife

The Liberal National Government will fund a trial program targeting feral cats using Eradicat bait in timber harvest coupes in the southern forest region.

Forestry Minister Mia Davies said the baiting of feral cats would complement the State Government's fox baiting programs in these areas.

"Foxes and feral cats are a significant threat to native fauna and baiting programs for both introduced predators should result in the recovery of locally threatened native fauna," Ms Davies said.

"The Forest Products Commission has funded the baiting trial to ensure the Commission is adhering to sound environmental practices."

The first phase of the trial is underway and will gather baseline data at two sites, one where baiting will occur and a control site where no baiting will occur. This will be followed by a four-year baiting program.

The numbers of species likely to be present in the area, such as woylies, quenda, phascogales and quokkas will be monitored for improvement.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said Eradicat, developed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, had been effective in reducing feral cats in the rangelands and semi-arid region and it was now a part of the State Government's Western Shield wildlife conservation program.

"I hope the use of Eradicat in the karri forest will produce similar results after baiting in other areas of WA has seen a dramatic increase in populations of native species," Mr Jacob said.

"Under Western Shield, fox numbers within baited areas in the south-west have been reduced by at least 55 per cent, with big increases in the populations of several threatened species including the chuditch, quokka and western brush wallaby."

Fox baiting has allowed the State Government to remove quenda and tammar wallabies from threatened fauna lists, and the Eradicat bait has the potential to achieve similar results.

Fact File

  • Forest Products Commission's fauna monitoring, which is part of its operations in karri forests, detected the presence of feral predators

Forestry Minister’s office: 6552 5500
Environment Minister’s office: 6552 5800