Could Aboriginal cat-hunting be the key to saving the bilby?

Updated September 16, 2018 12:08:21

Photo: A feral cat hunting endangered wildlife — caught on infrared camera going into a bilby burrow. (Supplied: Kiwirrkurra IPA) Related Story: World’s largest fence to save native animal populations from feral cats

In the sandhills surrounding one of Australia’s most remote communities, bilby populations are stable, a stark contrast to dwindling numbers in other parts of the country.

Now a leading biologist says Kiwirrkurra’s strong traditions of cat hunting and fire management are literally making the difference between life and death for the region’s bilbies.

In the window of Kiwirrkurra’s only shop, there’s an unusual sign – an offer of $100 to catch and kill a feral cat.

“Over the last four years that we’ve been recording numbers, we’re up to 100 cats. That’s animals that people have either caught in their own time or caught on ranger trips,” Kate Crossing from the Kiwirrkurra Indigenous Protection Authority said.