EnviroNorth > Cape York > Feral Animals

Feral Animals of Cape York Peninsula

Major feral animals

feral pig

As in many other regions of north Australia, the feral pig has significant impacts in Cape York

Cape York has fewer pest species than other tropical savanna regions. However, feral pigs, horses, cane toads and cats are all found throughout this region. The pig has the most varied impact on both the natural environment and pastoral activities, with significant impacts occurring along the coast. Feral horse populations are greatest in the pastoral areas inland from the coast. Feral cats are also present, and along with the cane toad, have extremely deleterious effects on native wildlife populations. The long-term impact of these predators on the equilibrium of ecosystems in Cape York is difficult to predict.

Feral species, in the Cape York region, that have the most potential to significantly impact on the natural environment or pastoral activities include the following:

  • Natural environment: pig, cat, cane toad, horse
  • Pastoral: pig, horse.
    Cane toad

    The cane toad has spread throughout Cape York

Distribution and density

  • Horse: distributed across the entire region with high density populations occurring towards the west in inland regions 
  • Pig: found throughout the whole region with coastal areas having the highest densities
  • Cat: distributed throughout the entire region
  • Cane toad: infiltrated the entire region
  • Fallow deer: small isolated pockets.