Feral Cat Eradication Program
You can help Kangaroo Island protect its precious wildlife and safeguard the livestock industry for generations to come by supporting the Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program.
Feral cat; Photo Rosie Hohnen
According to How many birds are killed by cats in Australia? from 2017, feral and pet cats collectively kill more than 1 million birds in Australia every day. How many reptiles are killed by cats in Australia? shows feral cats also kill about 466 million reptiles a year, higher than any other continent. An individual cat can kill up to 225 reptiles per year. The cats are essentially killing and eating 258 different reptile species such as geckos and bearded dragons, including 11 threatened species.
The Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program is one of Australia’s ambitious programs to remove an invasive, introduced, predatory species that is devastating to our native animals.
Some of the most threatened native species in Australia live on Kangaroo Island, many of which are at extreme risk from feral cats. The KI Feral Cat Eradication Program is an effective example of how good governance, strategic planning, community commitment and appropriate resourcing can effectively remove threats from the landscape creating safe havens for natives and reverse the decline of critically endangered species.
Creating a Permanent Safe Haven for Threatened Species
The eradication across the Dudley Peninsula has begun in earnest, however it will not be possible to successfully complete with existing resources.
The eradication program will create a permanent safe haven for the endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart, and other EPBC-listed species such as the KI echidna and hooded plover, by eradicating feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula (on the eastern end of KI), an area of 384 square km of mixed bushland, coastal and agricultural landscapes at the eastern end of the island. The peninsula will be isolated from the remainder of the island by a cat barrier fence built across the narrow isthmus to prevent re-invasions from the west.
Feral cats have been recognised as a major threat to a number of threatened species, particularly small mammals and ground nesting birds. In addition feral cats are known vectors of parasitic diseases (sarcosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis) which have substantial economic impacts on the islands primary producers.
The Dudley Peninsula contains habitat for 17 endemic sub-species and a number of threatened species, many of which are present or possibly present on the Dudley Peninsula such as:
- Kangaroo Island dunnart Sminthopsis fuliginosis aitkeni (Endangered, possibly present)
- Kangaroo Island echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus multiaculeatus (Endangered, present)
- Southern brown bandicoot Isoodon obesuelus (Endangered, present)
- Hooded plover (eastern) Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis (Vulnerable, present)
- Southern emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus (Endangered, present)
As part of the Federal Government's Threatened Species Strategy and Safe Havens initiative, Kangaroo Island has been identified as one of five large Australian islands that are proposed for the eradication of feral cats.
How Your Donation Can Help
We invite you to donate (once off or monthly debit) to the KI Feral Cat Eradication Program to help:
- Remove an invasive predatory species from Kangaroo Island creating a safe Haven for threatened species
- Sponsor a remote 4G connected camera and get individualised access to KI wildlife and feral cat detections
- Ensure iconic species persists on KI, and in South Australia
- Support valued wildlife relied on by Kangaroo Island’s nature based tourism industry, which underpins the local economy
- Protect the Island’s livestock industry from parasitic diseases such as sarcosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis, carried by cats
- Maintain the unique wildlife of Kangaroo Island for the appreciation of all who live and visit here;
- Support the stewardship efforts of the Kangaroo Island community.
Donate online or contact Nature Foundation on 08 8340 2880 or [email protected].
Minimum donation is $2. All donations are tax deductible.