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Fox and feral cat management is essential to the recovery of wildlife in Western Australia.

Western Shield is actively reducing the impact of threat of foxes and feral cats on WA's native animals, with a particular focus on threatened species.

The program manages introduced predators using a number of methods but most broadscale management across 3.7 million hectares of Parks and Wildlife Service and partnership land is conducted using baits containing the naturally occurring toxin, 1080.

Introduced killers

European red fox (Vulpes vulpes):

The arrival of the fox in the south-west in the late 1920s coincided with a steep decline in the numbers of smaller native mammals in the southern part of the State.

Foxes are highly adaptive and mobile predators that prey on a variety of small- to medium-sized animals. Foxes were deliberately released into Victoria in the 1860s for fox hunting. It followed the spread of the introduced rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

Feral cats (Felis catus)

Feral cats arrived in Australia during European settlement and they are now widespread across Australia. It is estimated that there are between 15 and 23 million feral cats across Australia (Woinarski et al., 2015).

Feral cats pose a substantial threat to WA’s native animals, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas where foxes are less common. Feral cats are the same species as domestic cats, but survive in the wild without human reliance or contact. They are a declared species under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (BAM Act). Find out more about cats at agric.wa.gov.au/pest-mammals/feral-cats

Fox and cat control is essential to the recovery of wildlife in Western Australia.

European red fox. Photo - DBCA
Feral cat. Photo - DBCA