Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews congratulates Kangaroo Island for tackling the threat of feral cats

Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews is on Kangaroo Island this week, to celebrate and support Kangaroo Island’s efforts to eradicate feral cats, as one of the national Threatened Species Strategy targeted islands.  

Feral cats have a horrific impact on our wildlife, and on farmer’s livestock and incomes. There is also a growing body of evidence about their negative impacts on human health. That’s why the Australian Government is committed to culling two million feral cats humanely, effectively and justifiably, and establishing five feral cat free islands by 2020.

A $500,000 grant secured by Mr Andrews is kick-starting the feral cat eradication on Kangaroo Island, including construction of a feral-cat proof fence on the Dudley peninsula where the eradication is commencing.

“Minister Frydenberg and the Australian Government is committed to protecting threatened species. Since 2014, $211 million has been mobilised for projects that support species recovery, including for projects here on the island.” Mr Andrews said. “Kangaroo Island is an amazing island safe haven, with hooded plovers, eastern curlew, Kangaroo-island dunnarts and pygmy possums all finding refuge here.”

“I am proud of Kangaroo Islanders for choosing our native species over feral predators. We don’t hate cats, but we can’t tolerate the nightly carnage they cause, killing small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs and insects.”

Mr Andrews said he had first learned about the impacts of feral cats on farmers here on Kangaroo Island. The farmers were fed-up with the feral cats spreading diseases like sarcocistis and toxoplasmosis, and devouring their free-range chooks and he said he was proud of the farmers for taking action.

While on the island Mr Andrews will be inspecting the work of Natural Resources Kangaroo Island and meeting with the community to discuss next steps in feral cat eradication.