Across the world, cats are loved as pets or are kept or tolerated for their role in controlling some animal pests. But cats, both pets and feral, also kill many native animals and this toll can be enormous. Cats have been remarkably successful in Australia, spreading pervasively across the continent and many islands, occurring in all environments, and proving to be adept and adaptable hunters. A large proportion of Australia’s distinctive fauna is threatened and recent research highlights the significant role that cats play in the decline and extinction of native species.
Cats in Australia brings this research together, documenting the extent to which cats have subverted, and are continuing to subvert, Australia’s biodiversity. But the book does much more than spotlight the impacts of cats on Australian nature. It describes the origins of cats and their global spread, their long-standing and varying relationship with people, their global impacts and their ecology. It also seeks to describe the challenge of managing cats, and the options available to constrain their impacts.
John Woinarski is with Charles Darwin University, with expertise in the ecology and conservation of birds and mammals in northern Australia. His previous books include The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012
and A Bat's End: The Christmas Island Pipistrelle and Extinction in Australia