Steve Austin, who once headed a federal quarantine operation and has used his dogs in ‘Search and Rescue’, visited properties in the Hovells Creek Landcare Group for a week during 2016, to help control a feral cat problem.

Steve identified cats we did not know we had, but not the cats we thought we had seen but were not able to catch in the recent past. The ‘theory’ on this latter group is that they had dispersed with the good season to hunt in new areas. Steve gave us excellent advice on how to trap cats, leaving us with no doubts about how very difficult it is to find feral cats in the first instance and how hard it is to trap them. From the work he did in the first week, we identified three locations to focus our efforts. We also found one location where we did not need to place any efforts at all (a surprise and a relief). Steve gave our group a fantastic talk on his training methodology, his work with Taronga Zoo on koalas and penguins and with NPWS on clearing rabbits from Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean.