Social media users who follow various pages dedicated to K’gari (Fraser Island) have alerted the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) about posts featuring an orange and white domestic cat with a fluffy tail on the island.
QPWS rangers have downloaded images and videos, which also included social media posts featuring the cat on Bribie Island.
Manager Compliance Mike Devery said the cat appears to belong to a family on a four-wheel-drive holiday around Australia.
“Social media users have not responded well to the cat in various locations of the World Heritage Listed K’gari (Fraser Island) and Bribie Island’s protected areas,” Mr Devery said.
“This is a major breach of quarantine, as domestic animals including cats, birds and dogs are not permitted in Queensland’s national parks.
“Domesticated dogs and cats are incompatible with the natural values of our beautiful national parks and they can carry diseases and viruses that could impact wongari (dingo) populations.
“Wongari have an excellent sense of smell, and the smell of a cat could cause them to investigate that odour, which could result in a negative interaction between the pet, its owner and the island’s apex predator.
“And cats and dogs would love to explore the national park and beaches and could become lost or impact on native animals.”
Mr Devery said the compliance team would attempt to track down the family who are believed to be travelling around the state, and issue them with an advisory notice before considering further compliance action.
“Rangers take a zero-tolerance approach to people who ignore the rules and bring domestic pets into national parks,” he said.
“Five Penalty Infringement Notices to the value of $137 each have been issued since November 2021, including three in 2022 for bringing domestic pets onto K’gari.
“Additionally, bringing an unauthorised animal into a national park or recreation area will result in the owner or person in charge being given a fine and a direction to immediately leave, regardless of any camping or vehicle access permits they may hold.
“The Fraser Coast Regional Council banned domestic dogs and cats from K’gari’s residential areas in 2011 to help protect the island’s wildlife, including wongari populations.
“People should keep their pets at home or in care while visiting our national parks and those who don’t know the rules should check our website.”
Photos and videos of the cat are available from our Media Centre.