Predation of the Julia Creek dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) and other native fauna by cats and foxes on Mitchell grass downs in Queensland Academic Article uri icon


  • Examination of the stomach contents of cats (Felis catus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) collected on Mitchell grass downs in north-western Queensland revealed that the diet of cats consists largely of native vertebrate fauna whereas that of foxes is largely carrion and insects. Mammals, followed closely by reptiles, made the largest contributions to the diet of the cats. Five species of small mammals, one of which – the Julia Creek dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) – is listed as threatened, and 15 species of reptiles, two of which – the striped skink (Ctenotus agrestis) and the bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) are endemic to the region – fell prey to the cats. Foxes appear to pose less of a threat to the native fauna than cats, provided carrion remains readily available.

publication date

  • 2012