Curiosity to kill Australian cats

February 24, 2010
Photo illustration. Australian scientists are hoping to add some truth to the old adage by using curiosity to kill some of the country's millions of wild cats.

Australian scientists are hoping to add some truth to the old adage by using curiosity to kill some of the country's millions of wild cats.

New traps that attract using sound and light, and then squirt them with poison, will soon be tested in South Australia's Kangaroo Island, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre said on its website.

"This is a tunnel that emits a... sound and bright features that attract cats to it," professor Steven Lapidge said, according to public broadcaster ABC.

"It requires them to walk through a tunnel and if they set off certain sensors in a certain configuration, then it detects the shape of the animal.

"If it is a cat then it will deliver a short spray onto its belly of a that puts them to sleep."

The centre believes Australia may have more than 18 million feral cats descended from escaped domestic pets, which kill native wildlife and are hard to control using conventional poisons.

Australia's vast size makes it vulnerable when new species are introduced, with the country suffering large-scale environmental and agricultural damage from wild pigs, rabbits, foxes, and even camels.

Explore further: Cats for those with an allergy

Related Stories

Cats for those with an allergy

September 15, 2006

A San Diego company says it has begun breeding hypoallergenic cats, just the thing for anyone allergic to the animals.

Scientists testing oral contraceptives for animals

February 19, 2008

If you’re a land owner and animals such as coyotes or wild pigs are driving you hog wild, help may soon be on the way to control their numbers in a humane way – in the form of a birth control pill for animals being developed ...

Study reduces euthanasia rates of cats

July 7, 2009

Unwanted cats and kittens who have to be “put down” are the subject of a new study at The University of Queensland's Centre for Companion Animal Health.

Killing in the name of conservation

February 22, 2010

Thanks to the introduction of various non-native species to Australia throughout history, the country is overrun with feral animals. A new application developed by ecologists at the University of Adelaide to be published ...

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nik_2213
not rated yet Feb 24, 2010
Could it also check for micro-chips ?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.