Tasmania to lead the way:
Tassie promotes bold plan
There is momentum building to save the environment and at the forefront is how to protect native species from feral cat predation.
All states have a cat control policy. It's expensive to run but the cost of not running it is greater.
The ecology and topography of Australia is huge and complex. It has been said and probably true that feral cat eradication is impossible. Well that may well be the position today.
It must start somewhere. There have been some examples of success on Islands with interesting results as the apex predator is removed so other introduced species flourish. Getting this balance right is the great challenge.
Tasmania have a secret weapon. the Tassie Devil.
The call is for a national program. Well meaning and reasonably successful attempts at feral cat control by the states deserves a round of applause. Can the states operate in isolation to each other.
A more practical and considered approach is a national body where all data is held all management techniques are implemented and results measured and crucially the management plan does not stop at the border.
Aboriginal communities aware of their environment and and fully receptive to the responsibility to care for the land as custodians are a valuable and necessary part of sustainable environmental health of the continent.
A properly funded federal policy that recognises aboriginal and pastoral land care as a solution with obvious economic value will serve the country and communities well.
Of course that brings into focus red tape and a bureaucracy that is peculiar to higher levels of government. So the strategy needs to be a little more thought through.
It is obvious that federal control and funding is essential for success but just to have a bureaucracy in place will not move cats out of an area so the logical step is to look for grass roots interest and involvement. If the grass roots organisations are encouraged to participate at a local level this feeds directly into local government involvement and by extension management and community awareness of the need for this program will engage the community.
So the vital ingredient is community support for a feral cat eradication or control program. Local government have bylaws governing pet ownership, careful implementation and education programs to protect cat owners and their cats will feed into community support for a wider control of feral cats.
A carefully managed plan to remove stray and semi feral cats from suburban areas will start to impact cats moving from a suburban environment to a rural environment. Chipping cats will separate the responsible owner from the irresponsible and easily scanned before destruction.
Does it sound harsh or even a bit red necked? This is a big issue with very grave consequences failure to act is not an option.
Interested in what happened in Tassie: GO HERE