Planning to head to Bruny Island this summer? Keep an eye out for new signage at the Kettering ferry terminal that is raising awareness about the impacts of feral, stray and domestic cats on Bruny Island and what visitors can do to help.
Bruny Island is a wilderness hotspot. Every year, around 150,000 visitors head over to enjoy the island’s stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. Significant populations of threatened species including Eastern Quolls, Forty-spotted Pardalotes and Hooded Plovers can be found across Bruny Island, but they are under threat from feral, stray and roaming domestic cats.
NRM South, southern Tasmania’s natural resource management organisation, is supporting efforts to address the issue of cat impacts on the island’s wildlife through an Australian Government funded project. Through the combined efforts of multiple partner organisations (including Kingborough Council, Biosecurity Tasmania, Bruny Farming, weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation and the Ten Lives Cat Centre) over 100 cats have been removed from the island over the last two years. Project partners have also been helping the local community understand and comply with the Bruny Island Cat By-law. However, visitors to the island can also contribute to this effort.
Catherine Young, Senior Project Officer with NRM South, sees the community playing an important role in cat management on Bruny Island. ‘It’s been great to see the cumulative impact of the project so far,’ Catherine said. ‘We’re learning a lot about the importance of using varied approaches to tackle this issue. Letting the community know what they can do to help is just one part of this and we’re encouraging any visitors to the island to report any sightings of roaming cats, to not feed stray cats and, for anyone travelling to the island with their cat, to keep it contained on their property.’
This project is supported by NRM South through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.