Felines are looked to be the main perpetrator for the dwindling number of endangered species in Australia, according to a new study by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
The research shows a total of about 650 million reptiles are killed by Australian feral cats annually, 225 each cat.
“Some cats eat staggering numbers of reptiles. We found many examples of single cats bingeing on lizards, with a record of 40 individual lizards in a single cat stomach,” told Professor John Woinarski, a conservation biologist at Charles Darwin University who led the research, to Independent UK.
“Comparing our findings with research from overseas, we found that feral cats eat more reptiles in Australia than they do in the US or Europe,” added Woinarski.
This is possible since Australia is home to 10 percent of the world’s reptile species, according to a report by Independent UK.
“Science drives action and my office will continue to work with our partners and the Australian community to protect Australia’s unique native animals from the impact of feral cats,” said Dr. Sally Box, Australia’s threatened species commissioner, to the Independent UK.
In May last year, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy completed the construction of the world’s feral cat-proof fence, which is a project aimed to prevent felines from removing the entire species of native and endangered animals in the world.
“Australia has one of the worst extinction records in the world, losing about 29 native mammal species since the European arrival. It now lists some 1,800 species under threat,” according to Independent UK based on Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
Some of Australia’s endangered animals are: greater bilby, Eastern bettong, Western quoll and numba.