Interactions between feral cats, foxes, native carnivores, and rabbits in Australia

Predation by foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) have been identified as known or perceived threats to 34 and 38 native species, respectively, in threat abatement plans provided for under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Land degradation and competition with native species by European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is also listed as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act.

The aim of this report is to review the evidence of the interactions between these pest species, their control and the impact they have on Australian native species. There are three objectives: the first is to determine the nature of interactions between feral cats and foxes (competition and/or predation), especially in relation to control of either or both species, and the associated impacts on native species and ecological communities (especially those listed as threatened under the EPBC Act), and feral rabbit populations within Australian habitats/regions. The second objective is to determine the implications of feral rabbit control to feral cat, fox and native prey populations, and the importance of rabbits for maintaining high feral cat and fox numbers within Australian habitats/regions. The final objective is to determine the interactions between feral cats, foxes and native carnivores and relative significance of competition and predation by feral cats and foxes to these native species.

Author Robley, A., Reddiex, B., Arthur, T., Pech, R., and Forsyth, D.
Date 09/01/2004
Year 2004
Secondary title Final Report for the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage
Place published City
Publisher Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research,
Pages 76
Notes Notes
Region Australia - national