Abstract: Invasive species management can be the the subject of debate in many countries due to conflicting ecological, ethical, economic, and social reasons, especially when dealing with a species such as the feral cat. Social perceptions and attitudes around the various possible feral cat management methods influence socially and politically acceptable management in different countries. A study was conducted to establish global differences in feral cat management approaches, and to improve the understanding of how social factors influence attitudes around different feral cat management methods.
A sentiment analysis was conducted as part of the study to investigate international as well as regional views of feral cats to determine differences in how various countries and groups approached feral cat management. Later, a landholder questionnaire was used to establish the attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders and the general public on Kangaroo Island, SA and near the Grampians National Park region of Victoria around potential feral cat management methods that could be used in management campaigns in these areas. This study highlights the importance of communication and information sharing in feral cat and other invasive species management campaigns, including knowledge about control tools, and demonstrates that education about species impacts can increase support for management.
Biography: Originally from Florida in the USA, Brooke moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2013 to complete a Master of Environment degree at the University of Melbourne. She has recently submitted her thesis for a Ph.D in Sciences at the University of Adelaide and is currently residing in Cairns, Australia and working as a Research Assistant investigating human sentiments around coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef with Dr. Michele Barnes at JCU. Her thesis work involved examining the social and societal issues around feral cat management by using a combination of ecology and social science to look at people’s perceptions and attitudes towards feral cat management methods in various areas. She hopes to continue her work in the area of environmental and social research to aid in the creation and implementation of future environmental management campaigns.