Cat deterrent to be created for Noranda’s Lightning Swamp area

CR Michelle Sutherland. Picture: Will Russell.
Cat deterrent to be created for Noranda’s Lightning Swamp area
CR Michelle Sutherland. Picture: Will Russell.

A CAT deterrent is set to be placed around Noranda’s Lightning Swamp bushland to prevent domestic and feral cats from killing native wildlife.

City of Bayswater officers will meet with Murdoch University representatives to develop and trial cat deterrents at the bushland to establish a broader strategy for dealing with feline predators in bush sites.

Early last year, Friends of Lightning Swamp and Noranda residents noticed a rise in the number of cats stalking the perimeter of the 72ha ‘island’ of bush, as well as fighting.

The cats, mainly domestic, have injured some of the 120 fauna species that live in the bushland.

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At a recent cat management workshop hosted by Perth Natural Resource Management, Murdoch University Associate Professor Michael Calver presented research into the effects of domestic and feral cats on native fauna and potential approaches to reduce these pressures.

Following the workshop, Bayswater Councillor Michelle Sutherland successfully put forward a motion to Council to work with the university to “try and reduce impact on environment and wildlife.”

Friends of Lightning Swamp president John Williams said the infrared technology to be set around the perimeter of the bushland would not harm cats, but rather startle them.

“It’s more to start educating people and get people to understand how the movement of cats affects the bushland and how often they move into these natural areas,” he said.

“There have been more sightings of cats, most of them domestic coming along the perimeter area.”

The trial is set to start early this year.