Being a responsible pet owner starts with you and means ensuring the welfare and wellbeing of your pets as well as protecting the possums and native wildlife.
‘Pets Away, Possums Play’ is a brand new GeoCatch campaign launched 3rd March 2019, to coincide with World Wildlife Day. The campaign reminds pet owners that keeping pets (cats and dogs) contained at night reduces injury and death to the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum, and has the ripple effect of protecting other urban native wildlife.
At a minimum, pets (cats and dogs) should be contained at night (between dusk to dawn). This is the time possums and wildlife are active and most at risk of injury and death caused by hunting and curious pets. Pets are also most at risk during this time from other roaming pets that have the potential to injure and cause death to your pets by transmission of disease, animal fights, exposure to poisons and car incidents.
This campaign message ‘Pets away, Possum play’ responds to injury and death caused by pets and aligns with National and State-wide campaigns and attitudes delivered and supported by City of Busselton, Parks and Wildlife, RSPCA, Cat Protection Society: The Good Neighbour Project, SAFE, Victoria Zoo: Safe Cat Safe Wildlife, National Cat Tracker Project and other local government responsible pet ownership campaigns, aimed to reduce predation of wildlife by cats and dogs at night.
Local evidence suggests that the greatest known causes of death to possums and wildlife in our catchment are cats, dogs, motor vehicles, and habitat loss. It is also accepted in the scientific arena that cats prey on more than 186 kinds of native Australian birds, 64 mammals, 87 reptiles and 10 species of amphibian and numerous invertebrates1.
‘Pets away, Possum play’, forms part of GeoCatch’s iconic Peppies for Possums project that aims to increase community awareness of the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum. GeoCatch will deliver a range of community events over the next 5 years to help educate the community on best practices to foster responsible pet ownership throughout the Geographe Catchment.
Pets Away Possums Play is delivered by GeoCatch with support from South West Catchments Council through the Australia Governments National Landcare Program, and the State NRM Program, in the Geographe Catchment.
1 Paton, D.C. (1993) Impacts of Domestic and Feral Cats on Wildlife in G Siepen
and C Owens (eds) “Cat Management Workshop”: Proceedings – 1993; Qld