Cats: 

Behind the cute and fluffy; They have racked up millions if not billions of YouTube views, and have been around since ancient civilizations, cats along with dogs are well-loved pets in everyday households. What most people don’t realize is that they are a large threat to Australian wild life populations through predation, diseases and competition. In Victoria alone, pet cats kill an average 16 mammals, 8 birds and 8 reptiles every year, with 900,000 pet cats, this equates to the death of 29 million wildlife animals. The diet of feral cats, on average, consists of seven native bush rats or ten native birds each week. With 200,000 feral cats, this puts 104 million wildlife animals in danger.

 

What you can do to help protect wildlife:

 

As cats were an introduced species, they have had an adverse affect on the numbers of unique wildlife in the country. EVEN well fed pet cats can kill wildlife. Hunting is a natural instinct for cats. Animals captured by cats can appear undamaged. However, there is a lot of bacteria in the mouth of a cat that can cause foreign infections that cause wildlife harm and mortality. What we wish to do is help achieve equilibrium between the animals, plants and land.

 

There are simple things the public and cat owners can do to help protect both their cats and wildlife:

  • Keep your cat in at night

  • Identify your cat with a collar and a tag

  • Put bells on your cats collar

  • Don’t dump your cat. If you no longer want a cat as a pet, rearrange a home or send to your local shelter.

  • Desex your cat. This makes for a more content pet. 

Loss of habitat:

Since the urbanization of Australia many brushtail and ringtail possums habitats have shifted from the bush to backyards.  They have adapted fairly well to this shift but often people complain about them living in their roofs.  Many times this is because they have nowhere else to live!  Providing possum boxes around your house will solve this problem for both people and possums - so we can live in harmony with one another.  Below are some key steps to follow for harmonious possum/ human living:

  • Place two or more nest boxes in sheltered areas of your property.

  • If a possum has made a nest in your roof or elsewhere placing this nest inside a possum box can encourage the possum to move into its new home.

  • By placing quassia chips, camphor blocks, mothballs or switching a light on in the roof cavity this can make it an unattractive place for a possum.

  • Keep trees near the house pruned so possums do not have easy access to the roof.

Threats to wildlife