Wildlife monitoring aids feral cat eradication on French Island

1 September 2018

Wildlife monitoring has commenced on French Island as part of project to eradicate feral cats from the Island.

This work aims to establish the ‘baseline’ activity of feral cats and native wildlife populations, particularly ground-nesting birds, prior to undertaking intensive broad scale control across the island – with the long term aim of island wide eradication of feral cats.

A range of tools, including motion-sensitive cameras and soundscape (acoustic) recorders, are being installed across the island to collect data that will be used to determine the distribution and abundance of individual species.  Ongoing monitoring is planned to document the change in species presence as the project progresses.

Local landowners have been paired with scientists experienced in feral cat and acoustic monitoring techniques to undertake these preliminary works.

This project seeks to build upon the work of Parks Victoria and French Island Landcare Group who have delivered an extensive trapping program that has helped to reduce feral cat predation on native wildlife.  Since 2010 over 1,000 feral cats have been caught on French Island.

The French Island Feral Cat project is part of the ‘Five Feral Cat-Free Islands’ program funded by the Office of the Threatened Species Commissioner. Part the Threatened Species Strategy, the program aims to eradicate feral cats from Christmas Island, Bruny Island, Kangaroo Island, French Island and Dirk Hartog Island, transforming them into safe havens for threatened species.

This project is supported by Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.