The Coalition’s pledge to invest $5 million towards the protection of threatened animals and further pledge of $500,000 to rid South Australia’s Kangaroo Island of feral cats will need the help of community groups and key stakeholders in order to be a success.
The Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) is one such group that is well-equipped and ready to join Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt in his mission to protect threatened species and cull two million feral cats from the Australian landscape.
SSAA National Pest & Wildlife Management Officer Matthew Godson pointed to a pool of more than 180,000 members that have the resources, skills, experience and motivation when it comes to volunteering for on-ground pest and feral animal control activities.
“There is no doubt that the SSAA has the tools and resources to do the job and help save Australia’s threatened species through our state-based Conservation and Wildlife Management (CWM) branches and SSAA Farmer Assist program,” he said.
“The SSAA Farmer Assist program in particular offers landholders a simple process to get in contact with licensed, accredited and insured volunteers to undertake pest control on their properties. With feral cats identified as a key threat to native animals, landholders can use this system to target feral cats on their property even if they don’t have any other pest animals currently impacting their business,” Mr Godson said.
“Currently operational in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, across Australia there is native wildlife being threatened by feral cats but more importantly, members of the SSAA more than willing to assist.”
The SSAA has a proud history of supporting conservation activities and was instrumental in South Australia’s Operation Bounceback, which saw more than 70,000 goats culled across the Flinders Ranges by SSAA volunteers. This has paved the way for the recent reintroduction of the western quoll and resurgence of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby. SSAA National donated $60,000 towards the landmark quoll project.