That’s a wrap for the #WAFeralCat2023 Symposium, held this month at the University of Western Australia. Our Regional Ecologist, Hannah, was in Perth to attend the second Feral Cat Symposium, hosted by the WA Feral Cat Working Group. First held in 2018, the Symposium is an opportunity to share knowledge, frameworks, legislative context, biodiversity impacts and control options for the management of feral cats across the State.
This year’s Symposium was a fantastic 2 1/2 day event attracting a sellout crowd and provided a high quality assortment of presentations on the current status of cat ecology and management options, including several presentations by Indigenous ranger groups.
Key presentations from the event included important recovery work for threatened species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act – the Kyloring (Western ground parrot), malleefowl, Western ringtail possum, Gilbert’s potoroo, chuditch and Australian bittern.
You may not know that Australia has up to 5.6 million feral cats living in natural areas. Every year, cats (domestic, stray and feral) kill 1, 067, 000 000 mammals, 399, 000 000 birds, 609, 000, 000 reptiles and 92, 000 000 frogs. The impact of this predatory behaviour is devastating to fauna species, particularly those listed as threatened.
The objective of the WA Feral Cat Working Group (WAFCWG) is to improve the trajectory of WA native fauna conservation outcomes through collaborative, effective, resource-efficient and humane management of feral cats. If you are a landholder or community member wanting to know more about management of feral cats in your area, the WAFCWG have collated cat management options in one easy and accessible place. Their website also includes a great summary of the impacts that feral cats have on wildlife, agriculture and health through disease (affecting humans, stock and wildlife). Check it out! https://wafcwg.org.au/information/
If you would like to chat to one of our Regional Ecologists about what options there are for feral cat control in your area, contact Bronte and Hannah (e) email@example.com
The Feral Cat Symposium was run by the WA Feral Cat Working group, with Lotterywest and the State Natural Resource Management Program WA the Major Sponsors of the event.
Image 1 credit: P Hodgens
Image 2 credit : Peel Harvey Catchments Council