Pests

Bumble Bees sightings on King Island have been reported April 2020. The community is asked to watch out for and report any bumble bee activity.

European Wasps have been baited on King Island in the past with success. Nests finish in autumn with new queens going off to hibernate over winter. They will then form new nests in Spring.

The community is asked to watch out for and report any wasp activity including hibernating queens in wood piles, freight, and warm spots.

European Wasp (Vespula germanica) 
Eur wasp

Not to be confused with the Native flower wasp (Thynnus zonatus)
faf flowerwasp jpg

Wasp nests should be treated with extreme caution as disturbance may provoke wasps to attack and multiple stings can be life threatening. Let someone know where you are and what you are doing if you are attempting to control European wasps. Registered pest controllers are recommended to locate and destroy wasp nests.

For further Information on European Wasps, visit the DPIWE website

Feral Cats

Compulsory microchipping and desexing of cats

From 1 March 2022, legislation in Tasmania requires all cats over the age of four months must be microchipped and desexed.

Subsidised Cat Desexing Program 1 February 2024 free to eligible King Island residents –
TO PREVENT UNWANTED CATS-  From 1 February 2024, eligible King Island Council residents can have their cat desexed and microchipped for free. Available to King Island Council residents with a valid pension, concession or healthcare card; low income; with too many pets; adopting a stray or taking ownership of an unowned cat. Residents who need support phone the National Desexing Network on 1300 368 992 and if eligible will be issued with a desexing voucher and then contact the participating vet to make an appointment. The National Desexing Network urges residents to get their cats desexed between 2 and 4 months of age as female cats can become pregnant from just 4 months old and can breed continuously after that. Male cats are less likely to fight, roam and spray when desexed. For More Info

Keeping a maximum of four cats

From 1 March 2022​, a person must not keep more than four cats over the age of four months on an individual property.

For further information https://www.tassiecat.com/legislation

There is a brochure for download.

Issues with cats

Toxoplasmosis

  • Studies have shown that 80% of feral cats in Tasmania have been exposed to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis can infect a wide variety of warm-blooded hosts, but requires cats for transmission and can live in the environment for up to 18 months.
  • Toxoplasmosis in humans:  Tasmanians have a higher prevalence of toxoplasmosis than on the mainland. Most people catch toxoplasmosis and have no symptoms, but pregnant women and immuno-compromised individuals can have acute illness.
  • Toxoplasmosis in agriculture: costs an estimated $12 million in lamb losses each year, can also infect pigs, goats and less commonly cattle and horses.
  • Toxoplasmosis in wildlife:  can be fatal to a wide variety of mammals, including bandicoots, wombats, possums, pademelons and wallabies.

Wildlife harm

  • Feral cats in Australia are estimated to kill 2 billion animals a year.
  • Roaming pet cats kill 390 million, but this can be in a much higher density around residential areas.
  • Cats can kill between 5 and 30 animals per day.
  • With two of the most endangered birds in Australia living on King Island (the King Island Brown Thornbill and the King Island Scrubtit), it is important that we reduce the threat of introduced predators on our native wildlife.

Responsible Cat Ownership – TassieCat.com

TassieCat is a state government-funded initiative focused on promoting responsible cat ownership:

  • Cats can live happy, healthy lives indoors. Containment helps to mitigate the damage that pet cats can cause to wildlife, as well as the transmission of illness and parasites to pet cats, other animals and humans. Indoor cats live significantly longer than outdoor cats.
  • Containment doesn’t have to mean keeping a cat indoors 24/7. There are several great ways to give your cat outdoor time safely.
  • Desexing your cat will prevent unwanted litters.
  • Microchipping will ensure that your cat is always identifiable, and pairing this with a collar will help keep your pet safe.

Further information on responsible ownership and cat behaviour available at www.TassieCat.com

King Island survey results March 2023 – conducted by Tassie Cat Coordinator, Cradle Coast Authority

  • 194 respondents
  • 36% of King Island survey respondents own at least one cat
  • 94% of respondents said all their cats are desexed
  • 74% of survey participants stated that their cats were microchipped and 17% said that their cat has no form of identification (microchip OR collar)
  • 31% let their cat roam freely, and only 57% keep their cats confined to their property while around 11% sometimes contain their cats on their property
  • 79% of respondents see cats that they don’t own on their property at least a few times a year, and 24% of these see them daily. This is a concern for 66% of respondents.
  • 84% of respondents are concerned about feral cats on the island, 67% see feral cats at least weekly.

Feral cat management on King Island

  • The work of King Island Landcare Group (KILG) is informed by the Invasive Species Management – King Island Cat Management Plan 2008 – 2013 and King Island Cat Control Project -June 2010;
  • Cat management work KILG is currently undertaking includes:
    • Coordinating landholders using cage traps for feral cats on private land, including informing trappers of their responsibilities under Tasmanian legislation;
    • loaning cat traps to landholders;
    • currently more than 20 individuals are active in trapping feral cats;
    • collecting information about feral cats for research by Deakin University staff and students;
    • KILG has also applied for funding to subsidise de-sexing and microchipping of domestic cats.
  • Regional Cat Management Coordinator for the North-Western Region based at the Cradle Coast Authority, Kylie Ashley, and TassieCat have a role in assisting councils with the promotion of responsible cat ownership.
  • Meanwhile, Cradle Coast Authority are working with Biosecurity Tasmania’s Invasive Species Branch to trial some innovative feral cat management techniques on King Island. The first of these is a trial of the latest Felixer cat grooming traps.
    • Cradle Coast Authority’s Regional Natural Resource Management Committee has funded the lease of four Felixer cat grooming traps for a non-lethal trial and then potential activation on King Island.
    • Biosecurity Tasmania is the responsible authority for operation of the Felixers (under an APVMA permit) and all relevant permissions will be obtained before installation of the new technology.

King Island Council Role

King Island Council has discretion to enforce statutory requirements but can actively support community initiatives at little cost. NW Regional Cat Management Coordinator and TassieCat have a role in assisting councils with the promotion of responsible cat ownership.

Council may make by-laws under the Local Government Act 1993 in relation to the management of cats within its municipal area. In order to support protection of property from cats and control costs to Council, local Veterinarian services can be prescribed under the Cat Management Act 2009 to operate ​Cat Management Facilities.


Many King Island Landcare programs in the past have involved education about responsible cat ownership, desexing assistance, feral cat trapping and monitoring.

King Island Landcare has also done considerable work on management of feral cats on the island:

King Island Cat Management Plan 2008 – 2013

King Island Cat Control Program 2010

Feral Deer Population Control –

King Island is classified as zone 3, so “no deer” is the broad management objective of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania. In recognition of the increasing challenges landholders face managing deer, there is no limit on the number of antlerless (any female deer, male fawns and antlerless males) deer that can be taken under a hunting licence or permit. The decision to tag male deer taken using Property Protection Permits in Zone 3 is at the discretion of the land manager.

Knowing the extent of the problem is an important part of managing the feral deer population. Trail cameras are being used to estimate deer abundance and geographic distribution in areas supporting low to medium abundance of the species. King Island community can help the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania implement their Management Plan by recording sightings. Download the DeerScan app. – easy to use and uploads data to ensure we know where the deer are

Last Updated on 2 February 2024