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Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program Achievements 2022-23

January 29, 2024

Kangaroo Island Landscape Board recently shared a summary of the 2022-23 Feral Cat Eradication Program achievements. Nature Foundation is proud to have supported the funding of this program since 2020. 
 
A recent UN report stated that invasive species such as feral cats are Australia's number-one driver of biodiversity loss. 
 
Recent findings also indicate that each year in Australia, cats and foxes collectively kill:

  • more than 1.4 billion mammals,
  • almost 700 million reptiles,
  • and around 510 million birds. 

The Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program is one of Australia's ambitious programs to remove an invasive, introduced, predatory species that devastates 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 Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program is a practical 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 reversing the decline of critically endangered species.
 
The Kangaroo Island Landscape Board's 2022-23 report demonstrates that the program to eradicate feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula is well underway. This is the initial focus area for the eradication program and contains habitat for 17 endemic sub-species and several threatened species, including:

  • Kangaroo Island Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus multiaculeatus (Endangered)
  • Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesuelus (Endangered)
  • Hooded Plover (Eastern) Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis (Vulnerable)
  • Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus (Endangered)

Over the past 12 months, the program controlled feral cats across 31,888 hectares of the Dudley Peninsula, progressing the eradication front from 65% to 85%. A range of control tools were used, including:

  • Cage and soft-jaw foothold traps
  • Grooming traps
  • Baits

252 feral cats were caught through trapping techniques, which will go a long way towards protecting native wildlife in the area.
 
The program also employs technology to support eradication efforts with real-time remote camera monitoring and AI-based image recognition software assisting with data processing. 200 4G-connected remote cameras have been installed across Dudley Peninsula to monitor feral cats and the presence of native animals. This is an excellent example of using technology to assist conservation efforts, particularly with typically resource-intensive activities over large and challenging-to-access areas.
 
The eradication of feral cats from Dudley Peninsula is now scheduled for completion in 2025 before the remainder of Kangaroo Island is attempted, and ongoing support is needed to continue this vital work.
 
Read the 2022-23 results and future plans here.
 
Support the Feral Cat Eradication Program with a once-off or ongoing donation here.

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