Feral animals

Major feral animals

Pigs and feral horses are the main pests of the Mitchell Grasslands as they impact on both pastoralists and natural ecosystems. They occur in low to high-density pockets across large sections of this region. Feral cats are also a problem here and can have severe impacts on native marsupials and bird numbers.

Rabbits have a noticeable impact on the natural ecosystems and pastures of the south and eastern sectors. When seasonal conditions are favorable their populations increase greatly and the area over which they cause problems also expands. As rabbit numbers rise, the fox population which feeds on them grows too.

Feral species, in the Mitchell Grasslands, that have the most potential to significantly impact on the natural environment or pastoral activities include the following:

  • Natural environment:
    • cat, pig, horse, rabbit, fox, goat
  • Pastoral:
    • pig, horse, goat, rabbit

Distribution and density

  • Donkey: marginal infiltration in the north-west
  • Horse: patchy distribution of low to high densities in the northern and central zone
  • Pig: low densities found in the northern regions but is more prolific in the east
  • Cat: distributed throughout the entire region
  • Rabbit: isolated pockets but also with seasonal intrusions into the eastern sector
  • Fox: seasonal in south-eastern areas
  • Cane toad: may be found along the northern boundary
  • Goat: pockets established in the south-east in Queensland