Construction of cat fence set to begin
The construction of the feral cat fence that will aid the KI Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board’s ambitious Kangaroo Island Feral Cat Eradication Program - the largest eradication program of its kind in the world - is set to begin following approval from the KI Council.
With the KI Feral Cat Eradication Program moving into its next phase, to eradicate feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula, the KI NRM Board is set to begin construction of a cat fence across the narrow isthmus of the island on unmade road reserve near Pelican Lagoon.
The cat fence will help prevent reinvasion of feral cats from the west of the island once eradication has begun on the Dudley Peninsula.
Damian Miley, KI NRM Regional Manager, welcomed the approval of a permit to construct the fence on an unmade road reserve from the Kangaroo Island Council saying it has been a long process but one that will pay dividends for threatened species on the island.
“Following consultation with the neighbouring landowners along the route of the fence to work through issues surrounding the movement of other animals, I hope to see the fence construction welcomed by the wider KI community,” said Mr Miley.
“We will continue to work with the KI Council and DPTI surrounding vegetation clearance and other traffic issues where the fence meets Hog Bay Road, as we have tried to work through issues with land owners on the fence’s extremities, but I appreciate that we will not be able to please everyone.
“Contractors from Softfoot Marsupial Sanctuary will start construction of the fence shortly with works due to be completed by mid-2020.
KI NRM Board Presiding Member, Andrew Heinrich, says that eradicating feral cats from the island will be hugely beneficial to both threatened species and the livestock industry.
“It is well known that feral cats are the main predator of our threatened species, many of which have their last refuge on the Island, but farmers also know that cats are the main carriers for several diseases such as Toxoplasmosis and Sarcocystosis that hit farmer’s pockets hard, said Mr Heinrich.
“The installation of the cat fence is key to successfully eradicating feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula, the lessons from which will be used to inform the wider project when it moves to eradicate feral cats from the rest of the island.”
The fence itself will be a standard cat proof fence design, used in several other locations across SA and Australia that will have a floppy top section to stop feral cats from climbing over and a skirt to stop feral cats from burrowing under it. The route will run down the middle of an old road reserve approx. 3 km long from the cliffs of the south Coast to Pelican Lagoon.