Mitigating cat impacts on the brush-tailed rabbit-rat - Report

Date: 14, Oct, 2021
Author(s): Hugh Davies  
Publisher: TSR Hub

While native mammal populations on the Tiwi Islands remain relatively healthy compared to other areas across northern Australia, recent research has revealed some worrying initial signs of population decline. the decline of native mammals across northern Australia is a result of complex, spatially-variable interactions between a range of factors, including fire and feral animals. Before we can develop/implement effective management, we need to better understand the distribution, abundance and status of native mammal populations on the Tiwi Islands, while concurrently improving our understanding of the threatening factors, including feral species and fire. Since 2018, we have conducted field surveys, analysed existing data, and adapted newly developed modelling software to address important knowledge gaps. Our results suggest that reducing the frequency of severe fires and removing feral herbivores may help mitigate the impact of feral cats on native mammal populations, including the Vulnerable brush-tailed rabbit-rat.