Rabbits and feral cats are individually two of the most widespread and destructive pest species in Australia. When rabbit numbers are abundant they also boost feral cat populations. As a result over the long-term rabbit bio-controls can be effective in reducing both rabbit and feral cat populations. However the sudden drop in rabbit numbers following the spread of a new bio-control could lead to prey switching by feral cats, momentarily increasing their impact on native wildlife.
This project is conducting a landscape scale experiment at the Arid Recovery reserve in South Australia, to better understand when and how cat impacts to native animals change following changes in rabbit numbers. The findings will be valuable to informing feral cat management in all areas where rabbits are present.