It is well-known in the cat world and even outside of it that the Australian authorities wish to eradicate the feral cats of Australia because they consistently say that feral cat destroys precious native wild species. They sometimes hunt them. Australians also have been hunting down dingos for donkey’s years – actually about 70 years. They dislike the dingo as much as they dislike the feral cat. Both are predators. The dingo is descended from the Asian wolf and the feral cat is descended from the domestic cat which was brought to the country by settlers.
Both the dingo and the feral cat are part of the Australian ecosystem. Both have been around in Australia, living in the wild, for a long, long time. They are fully integrated into the wildlife of Australia.
In all studies on the prey of the Australian feral cat, mammals have consistently comprised the major part of the diet throughout the year with other vertebrates especially birds comprising only a minor component. Rabbits and rodents appear to be the favoured prey. So we can conclude that the Australian feral cat mainly kills Australian rats. I’m not sure why Australians want to protect the Australian rat. The usual species of rat attacked by feral cats is the brush rat and the swamp rat. Can an Australian please tell me why these rodents require protection?
As for the dingo, a recent study argues that this sinister and despised predator should be nurtured rather than killed in an effort to raise their numbers because the study concluded that killing them is damaging Australia’s ecosystem.
The study was conducted by the University of New South Wales. It was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. By killing the dingo Australians are harming Australia’s smaller native wildlife. This includes some endangered species. The argument goes as follows:
When you kill the dingo, their prey, which are kangaroos, foxes and possums flourish. As a consequence the prey of kangaroos foxes and possums decline in numbers. The prey of these animals includes bandicoots. Also, Kangaroos, in large numbers can destroy vegetation.
There is also a conflict between the two policies of killing dingos and killing feral cats. When you kill feral cats the rodent population should rise. When you kill dingos the rodent population will decline because as mentioned rodents are killed by the prey of the dingo.
I have to conclude, therefore, that the Australian authorities do not know what they are doing and they are operating on an emotional level. In addition they are failing to address the main killer and the main barrier to the flourishing of wildlife, namely Australians themselves. Probably the primary reason why certain Australian wildlife species fail to flourish or are endangered is because of a loss of habitat due to the activities of people.
The whole process seems to me to be tortured, distorted and upside down and needs a complete rethink.