Working together to protect native animals in Western Australia through feral cat control – WA Feral Cat Symposium No. 2 (#WAFeralCat23)
Rock stars of the environment and conservation sectors will come together from across Australia to learn, share and present at the WA Feral Cat Symposium at University of WA, from 13-15 February. The Symposium will bring more than 200 people together to tackle the complex issue of protecting WA’s native animals, through effective, humane feral cat control.
Tickets and the program for the Symposium can be found at https://wafcwg.org.au/2023-feral-cat-symposium/
The program is packed with amazing speakers across a range of themes including on-ground successes, improved and emerging techniques, social and ethical issues, research findings and an exciting line up of Aboriginal Traditional Owner Ranger groups sharing their stories of managing cats on Country.
The WA Feral Cat Working Group (WAFCWG) is proud to be presenting this Symposium, and celebrating and sharing particularly the success stories, which in some instances are being clearly measured by the increase in native fauna in areas where effective feral cat management is delivered.
Since the inaugural Symposium in 2018 there have been some monumental shifts to assist in the protection of our native animals, aligning with key actions recommended from this first Symposium. Feral cats have been listed as a declared pest species on the WA Biosecurity and Agricultural Management Act. The WA Feral Cat Working Group has been established and officially launched in April 2020.
The Working Group is chaired by Susan Hunt, AM PSM, former CEO of Lotteries Commission and the Perth Zoo. Dr Judy Dunlop, who has extensive experience working with some of Australia’s most iconic threatened mammals and their ecology is the Executive Officer.
A Research Committee has been established to support the implementation of the “Increasing knowledge to mitigate cat impacts on biodiversity – A research program for WA” developed by the WA Biodiversity Science Institute in 2020, with the support of the Working Group. The Advisory Group with members from the RSPCA, tertiary institutions, CSIRO, WA Farmers Federation, WA Landcare Network and more also play an important role to ensure that the Working Group is meeting the needs of the wider community.
Land clearing and feral cats remain the highest threats to our biodiversity, and, while there are some fabulous success stories of isolated feral cat control, a landscape-scale solution is yet to be realised. It is estimated there are between 1.4 and 5.6 million feral cats across Australia, each of which is killing more than 791 mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs every year. For more information on cats and their impacts go to https://wafcwg.org.au/impacts/
The WA Feral Cat Working Group is an initiative of, and hosted by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council, with support particularly from the WA Biodiversity Science Institute, Bush Heritage Australia and the National Feral Cat Taskforce.
Media Contact: Judy Dunlop, Executive Officer, WAFCWG
[email protected] (08) 6369 8800 (Peel-Harvey Catchment Council on behalf of the Working Group)