Oyster Harbour catchment covers 3,000 square kilometers and stretches from Albany in the south to Tenterden in the north. It contains some of the Great Southern's best natural assets. As an organisation we coordinate many project, on-ground action and workshops
As we all have our lives restricted and many of us are confined to our houses, unfortunately it seems, the feral animals did not get the “memo” to stay indoors. They still come out in force to hunt and wipe out our livestock, poultry, and native wildlife. However, We are pleased to say that the farmers in the district are not letting these beasts dominate our environment.
We had to extremely modify our Annual Red Card Feral Animal Community Shoot due to the COVID-19 and Government restrictions at the time, a few teams did their own shoot following restrictions for that time. Some teams went out for only a while, others all night. Excitingly, even with just 4 teams they still managed to get great feral animal numbers for the night. The total number of foxes was 40 and the total number of rabbits was 124. These numbers of represent hundreds if not thousands of animals that have been saved from death by removing them from the environment. As you can see the feral cats were obviously hiding on the night of the shoot, but do not fear as OHCG has another great program as part of the National Landcare Partnership.
This program is about gaining better understanding of our feral animal numbers, locations and behaviour i.e. what the favorite prey source is in the farmland surrounding the Stirling and Porongorup Range/s. This program has been running for 12 months and has controlled a total number of 273 foxes and 17 cats.
This next win for the environment is not in our region, but it is a win for native wildlife everywhere and will reduce the overflow of offspring encroaching into our catchment. A very dedicated contractor devotes much of is time to protecting wildlife and livestock by shooting on a regular basis both feral cats and foxes. FoxBusters has been very busy over the last few months honing his skills and techniques on a poultry farm, he has managed to eradicate a very impressive 32 cats and 40 foxes on the same property in about 2 months., and apparently there is still more our there.
We are very grateful to everyone who has contributed to reducing the numbers of feral animals in the region.
The Albany and Surrounds Feral Cat Working Group
The feral cat working group has been a little quiet on the home front, as we are madly working behind the scenes preparing the group to move forward and become a strong voice for the protection of native wildlife in the coming years.
We are preparing a cat strategy of important information on feral, stray and pet cats, applying for funds to keep the group moving forward, formulating an education program for cat owners and shires, among other things.
The group is strong advocates for keeping cats indoors not only for the protection of wildlife everywhere but also for the protection of the cats themselves. The impact they have on native animals and birds is quite phenomenal, pets included. “Cats allowed to roam freely outdoors are more likely to be injured during cat fights, dog attacks and traffic accidents? They are also more at risk of being exposed to poisons, ticks, fleas and diseases. Because of this cats that roam freely outdoors have an average lifespan of three years compared to confined cats that can live to 15 years or longer.” *goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/keeping-your-cat-contained-factsheet.pdf By keeping your cat safe at home, you will be: • reducing the risk of them getting sick, being hurt, or dying in an accident such as being hit by a car. • enjoying more quality time together • reducing the risk, they will stray and be lost or impounded by the council which is a costly event • minimising the risk, they will harm or kill other animals, especially our vulnerable native wildlife. • preventing them from interacting with roaming cats that may be carrying diseases that can be dangerous to not only wildlife but humans and stock. • avoiding problems with your neighbours, one of the biggest issues between neighbours is roaming animals • giving them a better chance to enjoy a longer, healthier life. https://kb.rspca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Keeping-your-cat-safe-and-happy-at-home Many factors are having an impact on reducing native wildlife and although the dwindling numbers cannot be entirely blamed on cats, I ask you to please consider the impact our cats are having on wildlife and start the talks in your family about reducing the time your cats spend outdoors, hopefully leading towards a fully contained cats. The fate of our wildlife depends on it and it starts in your house.
Phone: (08) 9851 2703 Mobile: 0419 646 390
Plantagenet Landcare Centre, Old Railway Station. Po Box 118 Mt Barker WA 6324 Office Hours: Mon-Fri 0830 - 1700 hrs (Office may be unattended as we are often in the field)