Breeding out the feral cat problem

S. Schmidt,  ECOS,  2022.

While feral cats have only existed as part of Australia’s ecosystem for the last 200 or so years, they’ve left a destructive mark on our landscape. They’ve contributed to a growing list of Australian native animals that have become threatened or extinct in that time. Today, feral cats (Felis catus) are rampant in all parts of Australia, covering 99% of Australia’s total land area. That includes ecosystems from deserts to forests and grasslands, and even many of our offshore islands. Though they might share their species name and genome with their domestic counterparts, that’s where their similarity ends, explains Biosecurity Research Director at CSIRO, Dr Raghu Sathyamurthy. “Feral cats are opportunistic predators. They’re one of the most significant threats to our native species including small mammals, birds and reptiles,” says Dr Sathyamurthy.

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