Cat owners urged to keep felines inside after quenda death

City of Melville environmental education officer Kellie Fowler.
City of Melville environmental education officer Kellie Fowler.

AFTER a cat reportedly killed a quenda in a Winthrop resident’s backyard, the City of Melville has reiterated what it is doing to protect the loveable native animals.

Graeme Selby wrote to the Melville Gazette after catching the cat in the act earlier this month.

“For quite some time we enjoyed having a ‘pet’ quenda in our yard that had crossed the road to our property from the Piney Lakes Reserve,” he wrote in his letter.

“I hope whoever owns that cat now realises what their pet is doing when they let it out at night.”

The quenda that visited Graeme Selby’s backyard.

City of Melville environmental education officer Kellie Fowler discouraged people from feeding quendas and said the council had a range of measures at Piney Lakes Reserve to protect them.

“The work that we do is about managing feral animals, which includes trapping and fumigating warrens and dens,” she said.

“We have also worked with Murdoch University to create educational videos about keeping cats confined to properties and doing revegetation works to help their habitats.”

Environmental consultant Terrestial Ecosystems uses a conservation detection dog to sniff out dens on behalf of the City, with the busiest time being spring as it coincided with breeding time for foxes.

A quenda at Piney Lakes Reserve.

“Any death is sad and so we ask people to keep their cats inside,” Mrs Fowler said.

“People say their cats don’t hunt but they don’t always see what they are up to.”

Mrs Fowler said the number of quendas at Piney Lakes Reserve was unknown but they were regularly sighted.

“They aren’t as skittish as you think they’d be,” she said. “They are happy to reside in bushland or dense gardens although we don’t encourage people to feed them.

“We know that quendas are also present at smaller reserves around Winthrop and Bateman as well as at Murdoch University.”