KI feral cat trap trial complete

KI feral cat trap trial complete

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A six week trial of feral cat grooming traps in toxic mode on Kangaroo Island's Dudley Peninsula has come to an end.

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A six week trial of feral cat grooming traps in toxic mode on Kangaroo Island's Dudley Peninsula has come to an end.

The devices were designed to target feral cats' grooming behaviour by squirting a measured dose of sodium fluoroacetate onto them as they pass in front of the devices, which is then ingested when they groom themselves.

KI Natural Resources Management board member Peggy Rismiller said the trial was a part of the wider KI Feral Cat Eradication Program.

"This particular trial was specifically designed to test this type of grooming trap and was the last phase in evaluating the device's effectiveness as the eradication program is rolled out," Dr Rismiller said.

"This method is one of many tools that will be used in the eradication program," she said.

The trial was undertaken across twelve-square kilometres on a farm, with the full cooperation of the landholder and neighbouring properties.

NRKI feral cat eradication program team leader Venetia Bolwell said the trial was successfully completed with the results showing that there was a place for grooming traps in the program, but that other methods would also be needed.

"During the course of the trial six grooming traps accurately identified and fired at thirteen out of the twenty feral cats encountered," Ms Bolwell said.

"This is a very good success rate when you consider that there were over 1,300 encounters with other animals, correctly identified as non-targets, trap did not fire, during the trial," she said.

NRKI Feral Cat Eradication Program community liaison officer Karleah Berris said that landowners were happy to be part of the program and doing their bit for the eradication of feral cats from the island.

"After instructing the property owners on how to operate cage traps, optimise their placement and use scents as attractants, we found that they were highly efficient in trapping feral cats," she said.

"Given that one landowner managed to trap seven cats with four cage traps over an eleven night period, it is clear that the full suite of tools and strong community support will be needed in the wider struggle to eradicate feral cats from KI."

Caged cat traps can be hired for public use from NRKI.

A full report of the trial is being compiled and will be released to the public later this year.

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