December 3, 2017

Unbeknownst to a lot of happy cat owners, their lovable kitty cat can cause an excessive amount of damage to the natural environment. And while some in Camden and Sydney might applaud their pest and rodent control capabilities, the hunting habits of the cat aren’t limited to pest species.

In particular, feral cats – the offspring of escaped domestic cats or abandonments, typically – have become such a menace to native mammals, birds, and reptile species that culls have been demanded in Queensland. Further south, the problem is no less acute. Between feral cats, feral dogs and rabbits, some areas of New South Wales and Victoria are begging for a solution to alter the balance of power in the bush. Some novel thinking might have provided such an idea.

Outside of Melbourne, a pair of wildlife managers are attempting to reintroduce dingos in to an area of the state overrun with feral dogs, cats, and rabbits. The Eynesbury forest area to the east of the city has lately had serious issues with these species preying on endemic species and farmer’s stock. While dingos will occasionally prey on farmer’s herds, they also have a tendency to displace invasive pest species. It is thought that a pack of dingos could potentially reverse the environmental trends occurring in this area.

The plan has not been met with a great deal of enthusiasm from local farmers, who know the tendency of the dingo to prey on their stock. Adequate fences can discourage this. By reintroducing the native apex predator to the area, we could see the flora and the fauna begin to recover. This experiment could have implications for pest and rodent control all to the way up north to Camden and Sydney, as well.


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