The control of feral cats in semi-arid Australia – the influence of secondary prey
on cat dynamics
This project builds on past research to control feral cats at the Heirisson Prong
reintroduction site at Shark Bay (see pdfbelow). Most control techniques for feral
cats rely heavily on periods of food shortage to facilitate uptake of baits.
This study looks at the relative dynamics of rabbits (as primary prey for feral cats)
and reintroduced native mammal species in response to rainfall to establish whether
their dynamics track each other (and lagged rainfall). If the dynamics of these
two groups are asynchronous this may require a substantial re-think and re-evaluation
of the possibility of reintroduction of native mammals to open systems with feral
cats (as opposed to islands or large fenced areas where cats are eliminated before
reintroductions take place).