Feral cat and fox control in urban bushland reserves

cropped-the-bad-red-fox-photo-shannon-dundas.jpgUrban bushland reserves on the Swan Coastal Plain and wider Perth metropolitan region are of increasing importance as vital refugia for native wildlife and flora as the demand for land and housing development grows. Similarly, these reserves and the wildlife that they harbour experience increasing pressures from multitude of anthropogenic impacts, including introduced predators such as the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus). Under the ‘’Western Shield’’ conservation program, the Department of Parks and Wildlife deploy fox baits (Probait®) throughout many nature reserves and state forests in Western Australia. The recent development of a fresher more palatable meat bait targeted towards felids, known as Eradicat®, has the potential to expand the Western Shield program to target both foxes and cats. This project will monitor the fate of both baits within urban bushland reserves to identify the species taking them and the resultant impact on fox and cat occupancy through camera trapping to assess the efficacy of control effort.  More information: contact Dr Peter Adams, p.adams@murdoch.edu.au