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Same name, different creatures

August 18, 2014

IMG_0342When we lived in Brunswick we lived next to a household of ferals. We called them that because they called themselves that. They were invariably goatee wearing (the males), tattooed (both males and females), dreadlocked and the nicest set of neighbours you could ever want – even if the parties got a bit loud on the weekends.

IMG_0097Now we are in Flowerdale our neighbours are still ferals, of a different type. The motion-sensing camera set up for a week revealed several species of feral animals cavorting on our back lawn.

Both the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and the European Fox (Vulpes vulpes) were introduced to the Australian mainland in the 1840s and 1850s for recreational hunting. Both species have been a disaster to the Australian environment. Rabbits are prodigious eaters of vegetation. It would be OK if they tucked into the Capeweed, Thistles and Patterson’s Curse but at our place they appear to mow through all the native vegetation including the native orchids and lilies. And the foxes decimate the native fauna. The only saving IMG_0058grace is that the foxes also eat the rabbits.

Cats (Felis catus) arrived as domestic pets but sometime later were released to keep to rabbits down (go figure). They also keep everything else down as well.

Even though I far prefer living in the wilds of Flowerdale, as loud as they were, I think for overall niceness, I prefer my feral neighbours in Brunswick.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Di Foletta permalink
    August 18, 2014 10:12 am

    Ron, do you set traps for the cats? Di

    • ronlit permalink*
      August 18, 2014 10:20 am

      Hi Di,
      We have set traps but so far they have managed to avoid them. The cat pictured was one of three we photographed on the night. I have put out a call to the locals to source some more traps. I need to make a concerted effort to catch these ferals.

      • Kate Sandiford permalink
        August 20, 2014 6:58 pm

        Ron, we were shocked to see cats on our delightfully birded Box-Ironbark block near Newstead a couple of years back but had good success with trapping. Are you using a full-sized double ended cat trap? And what are you using for bait? Fishy stuff doesn’t work (ants and other beasts get there first) but chunks of beef do.

  2. ronlit permalink*
    August 22, 2014 9:31 am

    Hi Kate, I must confess the failure to trap these ferals is less to do with the trap and more to do with the trapper. As feral is they are I have been only half-heartedly trying to catch the cats for fear of what I have to do if I catch them. Given the feedback from this article I’m going to ‘toughen up’ and remove my neighbours.

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