KI feral cat project begins

KI feral cat project begins

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The eradication of feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula on KI has begun this week with activities starting on the Eastern tip of the peninsula near Cape Willoughby.

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The eradication of feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula on KI has begun this week with activities starting on the Eastern tip of the peninsula near Cape Willoughby.

Following extensive preparation work, which included installing a peninsula-wide camera array to establish the baseline distribution of feral cats and presence of other animal species, the team from Natural Resources Kangaroo Island will begin eradication this week that will see a rolling front move from east to west across the peninsula.

Kangaroo Island Landscape Board chair Andrew Heinrich said it had been a long journey to get to this point, one that couldn't have been achieved without community support.

"The program is a highly ambitious one, eradicating feral cats from the Dudley alone will make it the largest eradication program in the world, and the board are dedicated to striving for this goal for the benefit of the island's threatened species and the future of the island's livestock industries," he said.

"There have been many years of research, trialling and monitoring to get to this point so I am very pleased to see physical action get underway.

"A recent survey we conducted along with our partners, the KI Council, which was sent to every household on the peninsula found that we currently have over 98 per cent approval for the eradication, something that will be vital going forwards."

Project leader James Smith said on-ground activity on the Dudley Peninsula was set to begin on the eastern tip, near Cape Willoughby, due in part to the size of the peninsula.

"There is currently no highly effective, broad scale knockdown technique that can be used for an area the size of the peninsula so we will be employing a rolling front of eradication methods moving from east to west," he said.

"Behind this "rolling front" we will undertake intensive survey and 'mop-up' methods to ensure no feral cats slip through the net. This is where community help will be vital.

"The eradication of feral goats and deer from the island was only achievable with community support and involvement, once again we would call on the community to do its part and report any sightings of feral or roaming cats, especially behind our rolling front."

Members of the community can get involved by downloading the free app feralscan.org.au/feralcatscan to log sightings, droppings, tracks feralscan.org.au/feralcatscan or by emailing sightings, especially behind the 'rolling front' to kinrc@sa.gov.au.

RELATED READING:Toxic traps for KI feral cat eradication

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