Quantifying the threat posed by feral cats to Australian reptiles (2021-2023)
ARC Discovery project. Total amount $545,000. Project led by Monash University
Associate Professor David Chapple (Monash University), Dr Katherine Moseby (UNSW), Associate Professor Dale Nimmo, Dr Tim Doherty (Deakin University) & Dr Alexandra Carthey (Macquarie University)
This project aims to provide the first quantification of the impact of feral cats on Australian reptiles, the country’s most diverse vertebrate lineage.
It expects to provide crucial missing pieces of the puzzle by adopting an innovative behavioural approach to determine how cats hunt for lizards, and how lizards respond to cat predation risk.
The expected outcomes are an improved understanding of the capacity of native lizards to recognise cats as predators and respond appropriately, and a determination of the magnitude of threat that cats pose to native lizards.
Importantly, the study aims to trial management strategies to mitigate the impact of cat predation on native reptiles.
The expected outcome is an improved understanding of the capacity of native lizards to recognise cats as predators.