The war on feral cats!

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major myna
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The war on feral cats!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/bullets-baits-killer-robots-feral-felines-in-the-firing-line-20190508-p51l4t.html

what an amazing article! It deserves a thread of it’s own i reckon

its just like i’ve been telling you lot, this is A WAR, theres millions of these evil little buggers out there causing untold damage to our wildlife, and ONLY NOW are we taking any notice of this massive problem on a national level. Only mow are we even STARTING to consider taking serious steps to deal with this crisis. A big difference from thendays when this bloody country thought a bunch of silly old buggers sitting around killing the poor indian mynas was an environmental movement!

now the real question is how are all these cats getting out there in the first place? Because it is not just a questionmof destroying the ones out there, we have to take serious stepes to cut off the supply, and i reckon its notmjust bad pet owners who are the problem. I am certain that a lot of cat nuts out there are seriously trying to establish feral and stray cat colonies in the bush and surrounding areas. Just take a look at the overseas organization Alley Cat Allies, there whole purpose is not to get rid of the feral cat problems in their area, they want to mainstain and support the little buggers and change the whole ecosystem in the process!

thats what we are up against folks, an army of crazy cat lovers who want to turn the world into a bloody cat paradise! Even if it means slaughtering all the native birds and mammals out there!

THIS IS A WAR people! The future of our wildlife is at stake, and its is vs the cat fanatics!

Lightuningbird
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How about Cain tods, foxes, rabbits, sparrows, starling....ok. I’m not gonna list all the introduced species, there’s WAY TO MANY, and that’s the problem. I say this is WAR on anything that is an introduced environmental destructing creacher. This includes the DANG cats.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
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In Australia we &, more so, our wildlife are unfortunate enough to have a very strong pro-cat culture. It's great to know there are some people who want us to have a wildlife friendly culture, particularly after the recent release of the UN report on extinction.

Slowly, ever so slowly, steps are being taken to move from the former to the latter & it behoves native bird lovers to support & extend these steps. I do hope there will be some wildlife left by the time we have a wildlife friendly culture.

Woko
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In Australia we &, more so, our wildlife are unfortunate enough to have a very strong pro-cat culture. It's great to know there are some people who want us to have a wildlife friendly culture, particularly after the recent release of the UN report on extinction.

Slowly, ever so slowly, steps are being taken to move from the former to the latter & it behoves native bird lovers to support & extend these steps. I do hope there will be some wildlife left by the time we have a wildlife friendly culture.

Lightuningbird
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Australia, along with many other unique placers, has a environment that no where else has. Been so unique, there are many species that are found no where else in the world, and if they where to become near extinct they could never be recovered. Therefore they need to be protected, and protecting then includes eradicating cat (and other invasive species) from the wild

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

major myna
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Lighuningnird you have a point, but let’s focus on the cats for right now, they are the biggest problem for our birds and other natives by far. And whats worse, the Australian public is constantly making the problem worse! People are still breeding cats and buying cats and letting em go walkabout at every hour of the day, and there are more and more of them getting in the bush and setting up feral communities! You cant say the same about the toads and sparrows. A big part of the population is taking this bad situation and actively making it worse. So we dont just have to deal with ALL the bloody millions of cats out there, we have to make big changes to peoples attitudes towards their pets at the same time. We bird lovers have to focus on this problem i reckon, because it has gotten so far out of control over thenyears when buggerall was being done about it, and it is still getting worse every day!

Woko
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Any thoughts on strategies for combatting cats, major mynah?

And let's not overlook not only natural habitat destruction but also its replacement by European, North American & other non-Australian vegetation, a lot of it invasive of what's left of our native ecologies. 

Lightuningbird
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Mom-native weeds...talk about it. I was out in the bush having a walk about, as normal, when I stepped on a box thorn branch. Box thorn is one of the most common weeds aroun here....it covered in thorns and almost impossible to kill. Box thorn also provides habertat for invasive species, so ya can see the problem here. AND, considering the fact the neighbors have a heap of it in there back paddock, and won’t do a thing about it.

the same neighbors dun give a hoot about there cats...wich are basically fearal, and are constantly tormenting the birds. It’s gotten to the points when one of these mangy cats was actually trapped....and permanently disposed of. Some one needs to have a word with them, along with all the other iraspocable cat owners.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
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Box Thorn may well be a declared pest plant in Victoria in which case you could report the infestation to the relevant authority. 

As far as getting rid of it is concerned the cut & swab method, while tedious in large infestations, is effective. Begin where the highest quality native vegetation is so that the native plants can spread by regeneration into the cleared areas. Because Box Thorn is quite invasive follow up work is needed in the cleared areas so that any Box Thorn seedlings can be removed. 

Cat traps are usually effective in removing cats but persistent use is needed where neighbours irresponsibly allow the critters to run loose. Your local council, if wildlife friendly, will have traps available for hire. If not, a trip to your local hardware store might set you back about $80 for a decent trap.

major myna
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good question Woko, since we’ve letvthis problem get so bad for so long, Ireckon there’s no time for any piddly little half measures anymore. We have to go full on, so first we get a permanent army of trained shooters combing the bush 24-7 to clear out the cats and then keep it clear of the little vermin for good!

then we have to have a serious look at the laws regarding pet ownership in this country and fix all the areas that need fixin. Huge new fines for pets caught roaming free out of doors, especially around parks or bushland! and folks caught dumping animals in bushland, the skies the limit, lock em up and throw away the key at the very least

how about a petition for a national ban on cats AND FINALLY making it legal to domsticate native species for pet ownership? I reckon most people wouldn’t miss bloody felines if they could take care of a sweet friendly,little flying fox, for example. Lovely gentle little critters up close, and yes, i know they are susceptible to ilness and so on, but so are the bloody cats and dogs! I’m sure its nothing a trip to the vet couldnt take care fof.

or how a about a family of wallabies hopping around the yard, what lovable pets they would make for anyone, even babies would be safe around them.

think of all the endangered speices that could be saved by breeding them as pets and bringing them to homes around the country! Think how much that would also increase public concern for our wildlife! How have we not been doing this for all this time now? We’re not helping the cause of our wildlife by jntroducing all these deadly destructive beasts as pets and ferals into ur country! Ditch the lot and let’s start over with ONLY  natives allowed as pets i reckon. It might sound like a big step but it would be a much bigger step towards protecting our wildlife than anything we are dojng now

major myna
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Well thats good news about that one cat at least Lightuningbird, now just to take care of the rest. You might be able to get a ranger to come out and take care of them by ringing your local council, they will trap them and take them away and fine your no good neighbours if they want to get their precious pets back. Give it a shot!

i am no weed expert but i discovered recently that spraying pure eucalyptus oil on the leaves can have a pretty nasty effect. Do it a few times on your weeds and see if it doesnt turn em to mulch,,

Lightuningbird
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Thanks, iv been wondering how to kill weeds with somthing natural. Some chemicals can have a bad effect on the environment.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
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Some useful ideas there, major mynah. Given the number of guns which would be involved in eradicating cats I'm a little worried we might be replacing a cat culture with an reinforcement of our gun culture. Perhaps army training exercises could involve some target practice although the thought of our army trampling through the bush fills me with considerable dread.

I'm aware that there are cat eradication trials occuring which involve certain poisons/hormones. If these prove helpful then their  much more extensive use could be valuable but my big worry is that the problem is so urgent that once all the data is in & approvals given there will be little wildlife to protect. Meanwhile, I guess wildlife friendly folk can only do their best in their own localities. E.g., approaching politicians for pet food lables to include warnings about the dangers pets pose to wildlife.

I haven't heard of Eucalyptus oil as a weed killer. I'm keenly interested to learn any results from trying this method. However, I must admit to being rather skeptical about its efficacy at this stage.

Lightuningbird, you are right to be cautious about chemicals. Sometimes it comes down to working out the risks & benefits. Hopefully, the directions on chemical containers, if followed, will minimise, if not prevent, harm.

AJ Anderson
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major myna wrote:

how about a petition for a national ban on cats AND FINALLY making it legal to domsticate native species for pet ownership? I reckon most people wouldn’t miss bloody felines if they could take care of a sweet friendly,little flying fox, for example. Lovely gentle little critters up close, and yes, i know they are susceptible to ilness and so on, but so are the bloody cats and dogs! I’m sure its nothing a trip to the vet couldnt take care fof.

or how a about a family of wallabies hopping around the yard, what lovable pets they would make for anyone, even babies would be safe around them.

think of all the endangered speices that could be saved by breeding them as pets and bringing them to homes around the country! Think how much that would also increase public concern for our wildlife! How have we not been doing this for all this time now? We’re not helping the cause of our wildlife by jntroducing all these deadly destructive beasts as pets and ferals into ur country! Ditch the lot and let’s start over with ONLY  natives allowed as pets i reckon. It might sound like a big step but it would be a much bigger step towards protecting our wildlife than anything we are dojng now

Nice thought, but we'd all be better served if we stopped the habitat destruction and protected the native animals in their own environment.

Woko wrote:

Some useful ideas there, major mynah. Given the number of guns which would be involved in eradicating cats I'm a little worried we might be replacing a cat culture with an reinforcement of our gun culture. Perhaps army training exercises could involve some target practice although the thought of our army trampling through the bush fills me with considerable dread.

Mandatory National service is something I've always been in favour of. Pest eradication would be a suitable mission for them. Serve your country by "saving" it!

Good suggestions, keep beating the drum.

Woko
Woko's picture

You may be on to something there, A J Anderson. If we can have mandatory military service when our great nation is purportedly threatened why not mandatory environmental service now that our great nation is truly threatened by environmental destruction. There could be cat & other feral animals eradication corps, bush protection & restoration corps, revegetation corps, development prevention corps etc.

Some months ago the leader of the National Party, Michael McCormack, assured me that he has a strong interest in protecting the environment. No doubt he could be relied on to support such a mandatory move within the Coalition. 

major myna
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Aj mate why couldnt we do both? Isn't this supposed to be the Clever country? We should be looking after our native critters in the bush AND Encouraging people to take them out into their homes and backyards as well.. I ask you What good has it done our wildlife bringin in all these imported bloody nuisance animals for pets, and folk dumping them into the bush to do more damage all the time, feral dogs and cats tearing about like they own the place and decimating our native birds on the daily! This whole situation needs to chamge i reckon, we have to stop breeding dogs and cats on this country asap and replace them with native friendly species. What good reason is there not to do this? Why shoild peole be allowed to own these great bloody predators while our native animals are fighting for survival?

woko, when a politician claims to have a strong interest in protecting the environment they really mean theyll say anything tomkeep their jobs. Thismcountry is sorely lacking any kind of enviro protection from our govt, and i dont see that changing soon, not a single strong voice for the environment on any of todays pollies, as hopeless a bumch i have seen in my life

Woko
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You’re right, of course, major myna. We need a multi-pronged approach to the problem. Among other things, this would have the advantage of allowing a range of people with a range of skills, knowledge, interests, motivations & other resources to be involved. 

Some people argue that we should leave the feral animals to their own devices while we concentrate on habitat protection. I would argue that we each have our own unique resources, capacities & circumstances which enable us to participate in the critical task of protecting & restoring the natural environment. This extends from being a good role model for our children to writing to politicians & voting for the natural environment to getting our hands dirty in eradicating feral plants & animals from our backyards & local patches of bushland. 

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