Community support for cat control on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island community cat survey late last year gauged community views on both domestic and feral cat control and sought their ideas on cat management for the island
Face to face and email voluntary surveys of 590 individuals were collected at Kingscote and Parndana Shows and from Kangaroo Island residents and rate payers.
Presiding member of the KI Natural Resources Management Board, Richard Trethewey said several options were being considered for future cat management on the Island.
“The survey asked people how they felt about eradicating feral cats from KI by 2030, with results clearly indicating that 560 of the 590 surveys supported the eradication goal,” he said.
“This is a great result, highlighting the KI community support for the protection of our endemic native fauna and for the reduction of livestock disease that causes substantial economic cost to the KI sheep industry.
More than 350 comments made observations or suggestions as to what should or should not be done.
“This information is most valuable and we thank the community for providing such constructive feedback,” Mr Trethewey said. “It helps us plan for a successful control program with community support.”
One community comment said, “I would like the island to be a haven for native wildlife and cats are a major threat to that. However, I would prefer any feral cats be treated in a humane way during eradication.”
Kangaroo Island Mayor, Peter Clements said, control methods for feral cat eradication will be guided by the feral cat eradication project steering committee and the Animal Welfare Act 1985.
“It is encouraging to see such community support for the protection of our native wildlife and profitable sheep industry.
“I have no doubt the work we are looking to do in eradicating feral cats from the island will help future-proof our ecology and reduce the impact on our species population, said Mr Clements.
If you would like to find out more about the feral cat eradication project, please visit the Natural Resources Kangaroo Island website www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ki/home or call the natural resources centre on 08 8553 4444.
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