Toongi Pastoral Company (TPC) is exploring the option of spraying feral cats with toxic gel which they would ingest when self-grooming.
The wholly-owned subsidiary of Alkane Resources reports that feral cats have directly contributed to the extinction of 20 Australian mammals. They include the rusty numbat, desert bandicoot, broad-faced potoroo and the crescent nailtail wallaby.
Alkane Resource's Dubbo Project community newsletter for August reveals TPC is exploring "innovative methods" of culling vermin such as feral cats, wild pigs and foxes.
"The pest reduction program will be designed to target each species with the best available technology and equipment that will result in minimal collateral damage," it says.
"..we are keeping an eye on trials of the Felixer Grooming Trap for the control of feral cats and foxes. This technology uses sensors to distinguish target cats and foxes from non-target wildlife and humans, and sprays targets with a measured dose of toxic gel. The cats' natural self-grooming instincts then cause the toxin to be ingested."
TPC and Central West Local Land Services have been collaborating on trapping feral cats and wild pigs, eradicating 35 feral pigs since the start of May.
Alkane Resources created TPC to manage 1021 hectares of biodiversity offsets and 1995 hectares of agricultural land surrounding the Dubbo Project site of 520 hectares.
The construction-ready $1.3 billion Dubbo Project is based on a large in-ground resource of zirconium, hafnium, niobium, yttrium and rare earth elements at Toongi.