Improving broad-scale feral cat management; Eradicat® baiting trials in Queensland

Date: 08, Sep, 2021
Author(s): Matthew Gentle  

Feral cats impact many species of Australian wildlife, but across vast landscapes, cat control with traditional strategies has proven difficult.We deployed 5530 Eradicat® poison baits by helicopter at a density of 50 baits/km2 at Taunton National Park (Scientific) in central Queensland. We used a network of over 90 camera traps to monitor changes in the feral cat population. We also conducted several small scale baiting trials in other area sin Queensland to assess potential risk to non-target species. Collectively, our results suggest that Eradicat® is more efficacious than fresh meat baits (when used as prescribed), with up to a 40% reduction in the cat population at Taunton and no significant changes in the abundance of key non-target species. The population of the Endangered bridled nail-tailed wallabies at Taunton National Park (Scientific), known to be limited by feral cat predation, continues to increase following the baiting, and with ongoing intensive predator control and other recovery actions by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).