Imagine a line of trucks from Sydney to Grafton on the New South Wales north coast. More than five hours driving at the speed limit hurtling past truck after truck lined up bumper to bumper.
Now fill the back of every one of those trucks with wildlife. Feathertail gliders, Mountain Pygmy Possums, dunnarts and New Holland mice. Wonga pigeons and little penguins. Green tree frogs and frill-necked lizards. Fill those trucks to the top. (Yes, they'd be rabbits and black rats and a few Indian mynahs too).
A line of trucks from Sydney almost to Queensland filled with wildlife. Unique wildlife. Wildlife you don't really get anywhere else on earth.
It's hard to believe but there may be as many as 18 million feral cats in the country, each eating about a hundred and twenty five grams of food each day. For a single cat eating only Mountain Pygmy Possums, that would be almost 800 possums a year. If each cat eats 125 grams a day, that's a daily diet of 2250 tonnes, or 820,000 tonnes a year. At an average payload of 25 tonnes, that's close to 33,000 truck-fulls. And at 19 metres a truck (I rang the Australian Trucking Association), bumper-to-bumper they'd run for 622,440 metres. Sydney to Grafton. My goodness.
Of course those figures are based on a 3.8 kg average feral cat size. If cats get bigger with new genes into the population (as we now know dogs have), they'll need to eat more. The convoy of trucks would then be on the outskirts of Brisbane.
Thanks to Tony Buckmaster, PhD student with the CRC and Sydney University, for helping with these figures.