Teams of rangers will begin shooting feral cats in a far western Queensland national park this week.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) says the rangers will be undertaking night shooting of the pests, as well as trialling the use of 1080 baits in the Astrebla Downs National Park near Bedourie, south-west of Longreach.

QPWS spokesman Mike Griinke says about 2,000 feral cats were culled in the park in eight months last year and continued control is crucial to conserve native wildlife.

"The feral cats can have a devastating impact on our threatened species that live out there and on the bird life," he said.

"The bilby - the known populations are in the Astrebla Downs area.

"We also have endangered kowaris out there as well, so where we have threatened fauna, we try to make efforts to actually reduce any threats to those populations."

He says recent hot and dry weather has seen a decline in feral cats' main food source, the native rat.

"As the conditions dry out and the plains rat populations decline, now is the critical time to be in there doing lots and lots of cat control," he said.

"We'll have rangers out there in order to reduce the cat numbers.

"We'll have teams of rangers undertaking the night shooting and then we will also be trialling ground baiting as well, just using 1080 baits."

 

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