Feral cats are in the spotlight with the release of a feral cat mapping and reporting app called FeralCatScan which was officially launched today at Melbourne Zoo as part of the Threatened Species Summit.
The app was developed by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre with funding support from the Australian Government Department of the Environment.
Peter West, project officer for development of the app, said, “The purpose of FeralCatScan is to provide the community and land managers with a tool for real-time reporting of feral cats, any management activities undertaken, photo’s of impacts and, most importantly, using that collective information to identify practical solutions to the feral cat problem.”
“Feral cats are a nation-wide issue needing collective community effort to manage. We are never going to eradicate cats, but we can reduce the impacts on wildlife by ensuring management is done efficiently, effectively and humanely in areas where feral cats are having the most impact on wildlife.”
“Anyone can use the app or website to record feral cat activity and it is really easy to use. If you have seen a feral cat lately then I encourage you to record it in FeralCatScan,” he said.
The app is also able to be used in the field where mobile reception may be unreliable by storing feral cat records until mobile coverage is available.
Andrew Triggs, Acting Manager of Planning and Adaptive Management with the South Australian Government on Kangaroo Island, has been trialling the app as a feral cat management, planning and reporting tool.
“On Kangaroo Island it has been found that feral cats eat a total of 50 different bird, mammal, reptile and frog species. They also spread diseases to livestock and wildlife. The impact on a small island like this can be substantial and we’re looking at a raft of practical and policy measures to manage the impacts.”
“This app will help us in a practical way to strategically identify feral cat hotspots on the island and more efficiently and effectively plan management activities to protect wildlife and agriculture.”
The app is part of the FeralScan suite of app products and is free to download on the App Store for Apple iOS and Google Play for Android mobile devices. See details at www.feralcatscan.org.au.
This release was first published on http://www.invasiveanimals.com/ on Thursday 16 July 2015.