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Last Updated: Mon Aug 4 05:36:56 UTC 2014

Australian Suburban Wildlife (Page III)


Mundane as Australian suburbia might be, we often do get interesting visitors. This multi-part web page contains a selection of recent suburban wildlife pictures of interest, many from test shoots with professional equipment.

Photos and text 1997-2011 Carlo Kopp; Photographs produced using a Fuji S5600 5.1 MP, Fuji S5800 8.0 MP, Fuji HS10 10.3 MP, Mamiya 645/1000S and Nikon D90.



Noble Park and Keysborough, Victoria


A neighbour's four year old Maine Coone on the fence (22/06/2011 D90 / 18-55 mm DX).


Reading Topics on Domestic Cats vs. Australian Environment

  1. Lilith, Maggie, Do pet cats (Felis catus) have an impact on species richness and abundance of native mammals in low-density Western Australian suburbia?, PhD Thesis, 2007, Murdoch University.
  2. Seymour, Frankie, The Great Feral Cat Con Job: The Ungentle Art of Scapegoating and Scaremongering, Position Paper, Animals Australia, North Melbourne, Australia.
  3. Seymour, Frankie, Cats - An Annotated Bibliography, Position Paper, Animals Australia, North Melbourne, Australia.
The widely held and often fervently believed view that domestic and feral cats are a scourge upon the environment and the leading cause of extinction in native species does not have a strong, if any, rational evidentiary basis. If the scientific evidence suggests anything, it is that the belief is more an urban myth with a large and very vocal following. Indiscriminate destruction of native Australian habitats by the expansion of residential and agricultural land would appear to be a more pervasive and stronger cause of native species loss in Australia. The history of European civilisation in Europe and the Americas would support that proposition.

Demonising hapless animals such as cats and dogs is not rational behaviour, but it is evidently popular behaviour, with a rich history dating back to medieval times.

If you care about native species, help restore their habitats, and do not believe urban myths no matter how appealing or persuasive they might appear to be.

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Domestic cats are abundant in Australia, in urban, rural and outback environments. They are agile and highly intelligent predators. Suburban cats may be pets, abandoned pets or feral. Despite being well fed, cats will often hunt for enjoyment. This young Maine Coon tomcat, owned by a neighbour, decided to pose for the camera (19/04/2007).





Maine Coone display (07/05/2007)



Maine Coone yawning (06/09/2007)



A neighbour's Maine Coone loafing (09/12/2008)



A neighbour's Maine Coone on the fence (22/06/2011 D90 / 18-55 mm DX).



A neighbour's Maine Coone on the porch (22/06/2011 D90 / 18-55 mm DX).



A neighbour's Maine Coone on the fence (22/06/2011 D90 / 18-55 mm DX).



Portrait of a Maine Coone (22/06/2011 D90 / 18-55 mm DX).







Another well fed specimen of the household Moggie, slightly annoyed at being disturbed (25/04/2007).





Another frequent visitor poses for the camera (07/05/2007).



This seven year old Persian cross tomcat named Smokey, was a frequent but very shy backyard visitor through much of 2009 (above early May, below late July, 2009). Some weeks after the lower image was taken, this animal sought refuge in my laundry, crying for help while dripping blood and pus from a severely infected face wound and left eye. Due to the wound, it had starved for some time and suffered severe weight loss. It was immediately taken to the local veterinary practice. The animal was microchipped, but abandoned by its previous owners, who would appear to have used a bogus backup telephone number during registration, and failed to update the registry when moving out  of the suburb. As a result they were impossible to locate.  After 24 hours the cat was sadly put down, as its odds of survival even if treated were extremely low due to its emaciated condition - had it sought refuge sooner it could have been saved. A very sad ending for an attractive, and as I learned, a very affectionate animal. The lower image actually shows the face wound in its early stages - not obvious without the zoom lens and enhancement.

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A neighbour's grey and white tomcat visiting (21/06/2011 HS10).



A visiting mother and kitten (07/09/2009).



A “mackerel tabby”  tomcat, a regular backyard visitor (07/11/2009).



The same “mackerel tabby”  tomcat, mid 2012 (Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D / D90).



Unexpected backyard tenants arrived on the 8th October, 2009, aged around three and a half weeks. All four and the abandoned mother were fed and sheltered, and all kittens placed with private owners or pet shops at 8-10 weeks of age (08/10/2009).





Two of four. The brown kitten was the Alpha female in the litter (11/10/2009)



This shy little tomcat went to a private owner at ten weeks of age (16/10/2009)



Another image of same (23/10/2009).



Three out of four plus mother (23/10/2009).



Smaller of two toms (23/10/2009).



Alpha female in the litter (29/10/2009)



Above, below, circa six weeks of age (01/11/2009).





Tomcat circa seven weeks of age. Note the ghost mackerel tabby pattern in the black coat (09/11/2009).





The same tomcat circa twelve weeks of age (above) and (below) seven months of age  (courtesy of new owner in rural Victoria).




Kitten Development 1 - 8 Weeks (Jan - Feb 2010)



One day old kittens (05/01/2010).



Kittens at 10 days (15/01/2010).



Kittens at two weeks (19/01/2010).



Kittens at three and one half weeks (29/01/2010).



Kitten at four weeks (06/02/2010).



Above, below: kittens at five and one half weeks (14/02/2010).





Above, below: kittens at six and one half weeks (29/01/2010).





Kitten at seven weeks (25/02/2010).



Above, below: kittens at eight weeks. Weight between 900 - 1,100 grams each (02/03/2010).



All four depicted kittens were placed in new homes by mid March, 2010.

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Australian Suburban Wildlife

Other Interesting Wildlife Sites

http://www.wildlife-photo.org/






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Artwork and text 1994 - 2010 Carlo Kopp; All rights reserved.
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