Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Control of Feral Cats for Nature Conservation. II. Population Reduction by Poisoning

Jeff Short, Bruce Turner, Danielle A. Risbey and Reg Carnamah

Wildlife Research 24(6) 703 - 714
Published: 1997


A feral cat population was substantially reduced by poisoning at a semi-arid site in Western Australia. The control programme was designed to protect two species of endangered native mammals that had recently been reintroduced to the site. Feral cats were poisoned with carcasses of laboratory mice, each impregnated with 4.5 mg of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080). Baits were placed at 100-m intervals along the track system each night for four consecutive nights. Kill rates were assessed by monitoring survival of radio- collared cats and by spotlight counts of cats before and after baiting. All radio-collared cats were killed and there was a 74% reduction in spotlight counts of cats after baiting. Bait removal varied with the abundance of rabbits, the primary prey item for cats in this area. Effectiveness of control operations against feral cats is maximised by baiting at times of low prey abundance. Monitoring the changing abundance of the primary prey species provides important information for timing control operations against feral cats.


© CSIRO 1997

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