Feral Cat Info Night in Ulverstone

14 Sept 2022 | Last Friday the 9th September, we got together in Ulverstone with community members and feral cat experts to answer questions and discuss what we can do as a community to manage the state-wide feral cat problem. 

We had a great turn out, with around 25 people attending to learn from our guest speakers. Our speakers included Gill Bassnet, who is the National Feral Cat and Fox Management Coordinator at the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. Also joining us was John Bowden, the feral cat management officer for Latrobe Council, and veterinary specialist Bruce Jackson.


  Image: Guest Speaker John Bowden ©Landcare Tasmania

Not only do feral cats affect our native wildlife through predation and competition, they also carry the diseases toxoplasmosis and Sarcocystosis. These diseases are both contagious to livestock, and can cause miscarriage and mortality of newborn animals. Upon transmission to livestock, their meat becomes unsuitable for human consumption. 

Toxoplasmosis is also fatal to many native Australian animals, including bandicoots, wombats, and birds- and, unfortunately, feral cats have contributed to the extinction of some native Australian species. The Glovebox Guide for Managing Feral Cats says "Feral cats are recognised internationally as having direct predation impacts on wildlife populations. Broadscale decline of Australian wildlife populations, particularly within the small and medium-sized mammals, have been well documented and with cats considered to have contributed to the extinction of 25 of the 30 native Australian mammal species. Devastating impacts on reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and birds have been summarised in a recent series of studies." 

There are many Tasmanian initiatives working to combat this problem, and our workshops are helping to engage the community and get people involved.

  Image: Attendees listening in to our fantastic guest speakers ©Landcare Tasmania

Everyone who attended got something out of the event, and lots of people are keen on the next step. We heard that audience members were excited and inspired that there is now more knowledge and help available in the face of the feral cat problem. 

During the second half of the info night, we held a Q&A session. This was a productive and inspiring conversation, and our speakers were happy to help out and share their extensive knowledge with us.

Landcare Tasmania is hosting a variety of workshops across the state on feral cat management. We will be holding two more on the north west in the near future, including a practical workshop on cat trapping with John Bowden. Keep an eye out for events in your area.  

Also in the works is a community engagement strategy, which will be a way to get the ball rolling in terms of feral cat management. Included in this will be resources for groups- think: safe and legal cat management, support, and a way to contribute to a national data base. Further workshops and meetings will also be a part of this, with more opportunities for the community to get together and target the issue together. Watch this space! 

Thanks to everyone who came along to learn about how we can help manage feral cats in our state, and a special thanks to Gill, John and Bruce for sharing your expertise. 

For more information on cat management, check out this link.

These sessions have not only provided the community with an understanding of the impact of feral cats, but also best practice management and legislation. 

"Although several community Landcare groups are actively trying to manage feral cats in their local area, it is going to take a more engaged community and coordination across all land tenures to limit the impacts of feral cats and that means everyone doing their bit across the whole community." said Landcare Tasmania's CEO Peter Stronach. 


This workshop is part of our Outreach Program which aims to increase capacity for Landcarers so that all our land and coasts can be cared for by the community.

It was made possible by support from the State Government's Landcare Actions Grants and through donations to the Tasmanian Landcare Fund by the JM Roberts Charitable Trust