Response of feral cats to a track-based baiting programme using Eradicat® baits
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Natural Sciences
The feral Cat (Felis catus) is a significant threat to Australian fauna, and reducing their impacts is considered an essential action for threatened species conservation. Poison baiting is increasingly being used for the broad scale control of feral cats. In this study, we measured the population response of feral cats to a track-based baiting programme using Eradicat® baits in the semi-arid northern wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Over two years, 1500 baits were laid once annually and the response of feral cats was measured using remote cameras in a before–after, control–impact design. There was a significant reduction in feral cat activity in the second year, but not the first. During bait uptake trials, corvids removed the most number of baits, followed by cats and varanids. The lack of a response to baiting in the first year may be due to existing low cat numbers in the baited area and/or the timing of the baiting. We provide a list of key recommendations to help inform future cat baiting programmes and research.