Feral cats curtailed on Kangaroo Island

The removal of feral cats from part of Kangaroo Island is among nine projects across regional South Australia to score a big cash boost from the state government.

Through the Landscape Priorities Fund, $350,000 will fully fund the removal program on Dudley Peninsula, which began in May last year.

The program is currently funded until mid-2023, but staff undertaking the removal expect it to take longer than that - particularly the monitoring phase, where intense surveying will ensure no cats are missed.

While it is progressing well, the exact amount of time the removal program will run for depends on variables like resourcing, climatic conditions, and support.

It is part of a wider cat control program on the western end of Kangaroo Island.

According to the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board, most landholders are supportive of the removal program, as both native animals and the sheep industry will benefit from the eradication of feral cats.

It is estimated feral cats cause an economic cost of $2 million annually to the Kangaroo Island sheep industry as they spread livestock diseases sarcocystis and toxoplasmosis, impacting production and profits.

Once the program is complete, and if it is successful, Kangaroo Island would be the largest inhabited island without a feral cat population.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the funding pool is made up of Landscape levies collected in the Adelaide metropolitan area and redistributed across regional SA.

Nine projects, which are partnerships between landscape boards and groups and individuals, have been funded through the $4.2 million pool.

"Landscape SA is about building partnerships, rolling up your sleeves and working together to support our landscapes to thrive - leading to healthy and resilient communities, sustainable production, prosperous businesses and flourishing ecosystems," Mr Speirs said.

"While the projects will be delivered by South Australian regional landscape boards, importantly they will work closely with other organisations and individuals, like Aboriginal community groups, local councils, conservation groups, businesses and landowners."

For more information about the Dudley Peninsula project, or to contribute to the feral cat eradication, visit https://bit.ly/2RDJ7Qf or email ki.landscapeboard@sa.gov.au. For more information about all the funded projects, visit statewide.landscape.sa.gov.au


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