Towards A Feral Free Future

5. Feral cats – Australia’s biggest wildlife killer

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Episode notes

Each year, billions of Australian wildlife are taken by feral cats and preyed upon, by the more than 10 million feral cats roaming Australia’s environment. They are the major extinction driver of our native threatened wildlife species.

In this episode we’ll hear from Dr Sally Box, Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner on how we are fighting back against feral cats nationally, and reducing their impact one cat a time.

We’ll also hear from Dr Brad Page, a pest animal specialist with the South Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regions on whether poison meat products (known as toxic baits) may be a good option in managing feral cats now and into the future. While Dr Mark Tizard, a Genome Engineering specialist within the CSIRO will discuss whether it could be possible to modify the cats DNA so they don’t produce either male or female offspring, as a non-lethal control option, to slowly bringing down their population size.

They may be much beloved pets when in the safety of our homes, but within the landscape they are wildlife killers, that need strategic management action.