Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 8 March.
Applicant: University of Tasmania
Species/Taxon: Cats (Felis catus) and eastern quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus) and also seabirds and critical weight range mammal species.
Location: Bruny Island - The Neck, Whalebone Point, private property (including Fairyland and Lutregala) north and south of The Neck.
Title of research: Investigating the density of feral cats (Felis catus) near seabird colonies on Bruny Island, Tasmania.
Aim of project:
- Do feral cats and the native eastern quolls use the seabird colonies as a food resource during seabird breeding season?
- Does dense vegetation structure provide refuge from predation by cats for seabirds in breeding colonies?
- Does the narrow isthmus between North and South Bruny, “The Neck", provide a useful location to control the abundance and movement of feral cats on Bruny Island?
Justification: This project will provide an increased understanding of feral cats which will assist the management and potentially eradication of this invasive predator on Bruny Island. Effective cat management will facilitate the recovery of native wildlife on Bruny Island, in particular colonially nesting seabirds and critical weight range mammals.
Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: We will not know in advance how many records of animals we will get.
Activities undertaken and methods: We will conduct camera surveys by using 30 cameras per site at four sites (two seabird colonies; north and south Bruny adjacent to The Neck) and repeat these surveys during and after the seabird breeding season; totalling 240 camera sites. The 30 cameras will be set in an array so that we can use spatially explicit capture recapture (secr) analysis to estimate cat density. If time permits, we will leave cameras out for 5 weeks. We will attract animals to the cameras using olfactory and visual lures hung from a tree 1 metre above the ground in front of the camera where animals cannot reach. We will conduct vegetation surveys at all camera sites, including measures of fine-scale structure that may provide refuge for seabirds and mammals from predators.
Fate of animals: We do not anticipate any physical interaction between the animals with either the lures or the cameras. No animals will be approached or handled.
Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch): No animals will be handled or captured. All animals are free to roam their environment however, visual and olfactory lures may alter their movement patterns.