Feral cats on King Island

​Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment

Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 12 October.

Applicant: Deakin University 

Species/Taxon: Target species is Feral cats on King Island, all wildlife on the island may be photographed by remote-sensing cameras

Location: King Island public and private land 

Title of research: Understanding the distribution and abundance of feral cats in relation to dominant habitat attributes on King Island, Tasmania

Aim of project: This project aims to establish baseline information on feral cat densities across King Island where no active management is currently undertaken. We also aim to determine how dominant habitats influence feral cat densities to best inform possible control strategies for the species. We will use passive remote-sensing cameras to survey for feral cats across the island. 

Justification: 
Feral Cats are known to have substantive impacts on native species population throughout Australia
King Island supports three endemic species at risk of extinction, with feral cats potentially contributing to their declines
No research to date has investigated the size and distribution of feral cat populations on King Island
These data are central to informing appropriate pest management activities to support wildlife recovery. 

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Unknown. Up to 100 passive remote sensing cameras will be deployed in “grids” (~9 cameras per grid at 500m spacing) for 12 month to capture seasonal variation and ensure robust inference can be made. 

Activities undertaken and methods: Remote-sensing cameras will be deployed on short, wooden stakes (or fixed to trees with straps). The cameras will have no lure and be active 24/7 recording images when movement is detected in front of the camera. Cameras have infrared or black flash meaning no visible “light” is emitted when images are taken. Cameras will be serviced (i.e., SD cards and batteries checked and replaced) on a roughly monthly basis throughout the study. All infrastructure (i.e., stakes and cameras) will be removed at the conclusion of the study.

Fate of animals: Animals will not be restrained, captured, or lured to a monitoring device as a component of this study. All activities will occur passively.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): Animals are not restrained or lured to monitoring devices. Remote cameras will detect co-occurring wildlife but will comparably have no impact. 



Contact

Scientific Research Permits
Environment Division
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@nre.tas.gov.au