Creating a safe haven for the Kangaroo Island Dunnart and other priority threatened species by eradicating feral cats

The ‘Safe Haven for Threatened Species‘ Project will be delivered over  four years and will build on the work already undertaken by the Feral Cat Eradication Program.  

 

The KI Echidna is a EPBC-listed species
The KI Echidna is a EPBC-listed species

This project will create a permanent safe haven for the endangered Kangaroo Island Dunnart, and other EPBC-listed species such as the KI Echidna and hooded Plover, by eradicating feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula, an area of 37,000 hectares of mixed bushland, coastal and agricultural landscapes at the eastern end of the island. The peninsula will be isolated from the remainder of the island by a cat barrier fence built across the narrow isthmus to prevent reinvasions from the west. Feral Cats will be eradicated using trapping, baiting and shooting methods, and eradication will be verified by detector dogs. Populations of threatened species and rodents will be monitored to measure the outcomes of the eradication. 

The project will help deliver the largest feral cat eradication program ever undertaken on an inhabited island. 

This project directly aligns with the Threatened Species Strategy, which aims to eradicate feral cats from five nominated priority islands and cull 20 million feral cats on Australia by 2020.

 

Southern brown bandicoot
Southern brown bandicoot, another EPBC-listed species at risk from Feral Cats on KI

 

The eradication plan for the eradication on the Dudley Peninsula is a document that will be used to guide the operational plan, how we will carry out the eradication. This plan was prepared for the Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Management Board by consultants, Envisage Environmental Services, a copy of which can be downloaded here

Feral cat eradication on the Dudley Peninsula

As of May 2020 the eradication of feral cats across the Dudley Peninsula has begun, starting from the very eastern end (at Cape Willoughby). An operations plan has been written to guide this work, a summary of which can be found here .

As the team progresses westward we will be contacting landholders and requesting permission to access land to control cats using a variety of techniques. There is a permission form we will provide which outlines the methods we hope to use and the advantages of each. If you would like to have a look at the control options we hope to use, or fill in the form in advance of us arriving near you, the form can be accessed here .

At this stage it is very difficult to predict at what speed we can move across the Peninsula and clear regions of cats. As the work progresses we will have a much better understanding of which control techniques work best in which habitats (woodland, farmland, coastal etc.) and the effort required to remove cats from these areas.

We will be regularly updating the community with our new feral cat newsletter “9 Lives” which will provide details about successes to date and where the eradication is currently situated. It will be very important for us to know if cats are still present behind (to the east of) where we are working, so please check regularly and let us know asap via email (kinrc@sa.gov.au) or the feral cat scan app as quickly as possible.

Fence

Construction on the cat barrier fence across the narrow isthmus of the island to prevent re-invasion from the west began in mid-Dec 2019 and it is anticipated construction will be completed by late June 2020.  The fence will initially have four “gaps” which will be monitored to study the movement of Macropods through the “gaps” and along the fence itself. Following a period of monitoring, decisions will be made on closing the “gaps”, where possible, and placing animal aversion techniques or cat-proof grids at others.

 

Have you seen a feral cat recently?

A new website and an app called the ‘Feral Cat Scan’ has been created to help our community record sightings of feral cats anywhere on the Island. Information you record will help to identify hot-spots for feral cats and identify solutions to the feral cat problem across the Island. Please register your details and login to record feral cat activity in your local area. You can record sightings, impacts (such as predation on native animals) or control activities in Feral Cat Scan. Please visit the website or download the FeralCatScan App.

If you would like to learn more about trapping feral cats in your area, please download the feral cat trapping on KI brochure

You can also email us at kinrc@sa.gov.au if you see a cat behind (to the east) of where we are working. 

Please provide as much detail as you can about what you saw, when and where (as precisely as possible). At this stage we’re only interested in cats east of our line, because those areas are ones that should be free of cats; we want to get on top of any incursions as quickly as possible.

 

Further information on this project will appear here shortly, please check back soon...

 

Lead agency

NRKI

More information

  • Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator
    NRC centre, 37 Dauncey Street, Kingscote
    08 8553 4444
    KINRC@sa.gov.au