Island tour

Ecological threat from visiting cats on the island

Cats are no good for one of the most pristine environmental areas in the world.

Arthur Gorrie

A cat has been pictured on World Heritage-listed K’Gari (Fraser Island), despite potential wildlife impacts and stiff penalties for taking pets into protected areas.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service spokesperson said the service had been alerted to the illegal presence of the cat by “social media users who follow various pages dedicated to K’gari (Fraser Island).”

The offending posts feature “an orange and white domestic cat with a fluffy tail.”

Relevant posts included the cat pictured on Bribie Island.

QPWS compliance officer Mike Devery said the cat appeared to belong to a family on vacation in four-wheel drive.

“This is a major quarantine breach as pets, including cats, birds and dogs, are not permitted in Queensland’s national parks,” he said.

“Domestic dogs and cats are incompatible with the natural values ​​of national parks and they can carry diseases and viruses that could impact wongari (dingo) populations.”

As well as the potential for “negative interactions” involving the cat and its owners with the island’s apex predator.

Cats and dogs could easily be lost while exploring the national park and could impact native animals.

Mr Devery said the compliance team would try to trace the family traveling to the state, before considering further compliance measures.

Five violation notices for $137 had been issued since November last year to people breaking the no-pets law.

Anyone caught breaking the rules would be kicked off the island immediately, regardless of any previously acquired camping or vehicle permits they may have.