Wildlife Protection Policy goes on Exhibition
Posted on: 25.07.2018
Wollondilly Council is seeking community feedback on a draft Wildlife Protection Policy which aims to reduce the impact of domestic and feral cats on threatened species in the area.
Councillors voted to adopt the draft Wildlife Protection Policy at last week’s Ordinary Council Meeting and it will be on Public Exhibition until 31 August 2018.
The policy outlines how Council can go about establishing Wildlife Protection Areas in Wollondilly to safeguard native wildlife and proposes trialling two sites as Wildlife Protection Zones; at Scotcheys Creek Reserve Silverdale and Lin Gordon Reserve, Thirlmere.
These sites have been identified as environmentally sensitive areas which are home to many species of flora and fauna.
Council’s Compliance Manager Robyn Cooper said, “Signage will be installed at the trial sites and if domestic animals are found there, Council Rangers will have the power to impound them and potentially fine the owners,” she said.
“We anticipate that a reactive approach will be taken to monitoring the reserves. Council will respond to information provided by locals and will possibly use cat traps.”
“One of the aims of the policy is to educate owners about responsible pet ownership, such as keeping their cats inside at night,” she said.
Ultimately it will be the responsibility of pet owners to prevent their cats from roaming in the reserves.
Adjoining property owners at the two selected Wildlife Protection Sites will be advised by letter prior to start of the trial period.
Council’s Manager Environment, Alex Stengl said, “Wollondilly has a large amount of threatened plants and animals, and the impact of feral animals and unrestricted domestic animals on the wildlife is devastating.”
“Feral pest species such as cats are one of the primary causes of the decline and extinction of many Australian native species over the last 200 years, including species of hopping-mice, small rodents, hare-wallaby, bettong, bandicoot and several species of birds. They have had a serious impact on populations of bilby, mala and numbat.”
To find out more about Council’s draft Wildlife Protection Policy and provide feedback, community members are encourages to visit the website www.engage.wollondilly.nsw.gov.au