Our Environmental Responsibility
Pets, feral animals and weeds
Googonians and their Cats
Googonians are responsible pet owners who want the best for their pets and for the natural environment.
Due to the tendency of domestic cats to roam, cats are far safer kept indoors, especially given the dangers facing cats that roam within and outside of the township.
These dangers include the following:
- Cats are prohibited on public land which is zoned for 'environmental conservation'. This includes the parkland adjacent to the Googong Foreshores, as well as the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard Conservation Area. Any cats which are found in these areas may be impounded by Queanbeyan City Council.
- Cats which roam into the Googong Foreshores are likely to be controlled (captured or poisoned through fox baiting) by rangers. This is because the Googong Foreshores is a sensitive nature reserve, and the rangers are responsible for protecting the native fauna within the Foreshores.
- Cats roaming onto neighbouring private properties face danger of being controlled by the land owners (especially via baiting intended for foxes).
- Roaming cats are likely to get into fights with other cats or domestic pets. Such fights often lead to injury requiring veterinary treatment and may lead to serious injury or death.
- Roaming cats are at risk of being hit by cars.
Cats are known to have a disastrous impact upon native fauna. Given the proximity of Googong to the Googong Foreshores, a refuge for native wildlife, roaming cats are likely to kill native fauna, particularly birds, within both Googong and the Foreshores.
For all these reasons, the Googonian community may wish to keep all cats indoors. We would support a community initiative to encourage other residents to be responsible pet owners. Some information on cat containment and data from initiatives in the ACT can be found here.
All cats and dogs kept as pets within Googong should be desexed and registered.
Although Indian Mynas have not yet been recorded in Googong, as for other new developments, the urbanisation associated with the development of Googong is likely to result in the introduction of the Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis) to the area.
This species is very territorial and is known to be highly disruptive to native birds, particularly those that nest and/or roost in tree hollows. These impacts are usually particularly pronounced within close proximity to urban development. Further information, including how to discourage Indian Mynas from your yard can be found here.
Exotic Fish, Aquatic Invertebrates and Aquatic Plants
Although there have been some reported captures and unconfirmed sightings, European Carp (Cyprinus carpio) have not yet established in the Googong Reservoir. However, Eastern Gambusia (Gambusia holbrooki) (also known as Mosquito Fish) and Redfin Perch (Perca fluviatilis) occur in the Googong Reservoir and the reaches of Queanbeyan River upstream and downstream of the reservoir.
The introduction of European Carp or other exotic fish species to the Googong Reservoir has the potential significantly impact upon the water supply and the aquatic ecology of the reservoir by:
- threatening the survival of native fish, amphibians and invertebrate species through competing for food and habitat, direct predation and the spread of disease; and
- causing increased turbidity by eating aquatic vegetation and disturbing the bed of the reservoir and Queanbeyan river.
To prevent the introduction of exotic fish, invertebrates or plants to the reservoir, Googonians must not release unwanted aquarium or pond plants, animals or water into any waterway. It is particularly important that no dumping occurs within the Googong Reservoir or any of the many small dams or creeks that flow to the reservoir. Severe penalties apply for anyone caught dumping within waterways in Googong or Googong Foreshores. If you observe any suspicious activity, it can be reported to the Community Facilitator (firstname.lastname@example.org). It the behaviour is within the foreshores you can visit the ranger station or contact the rangers on (02) 6207 2779.