Keep an eye out for ferrets near Wondai
BIOSECURITY Queensland wants Wondai residents to be on the lookout for ferrets after two were found in the recent months.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said they didn’t know how the ferrets made it into area.
“We suspect that they were illegally- kept pets that either escaped or were dumped,” the spokeswoman said.
“Biosecurity Queensland and the South Burnett Regional Council are conducting operations to confirm if there are any more ferrets that may have been dumped or escaped in the area.
“We are also conducting awareness activities in the Wondai township in case local residents encounter any other ferrets at large in the area.”
Biosecurity Queensland does not believe that ferrets are established in the area, as both of the ferrets detected were tame.
If any Wondai residents come across a ferret they must report the sighting to Biosecurity Queensland immediately.
“We want to remind people that the ferret is a prohibited invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act 2014. This means they must not be kept, moved, fed, given away or sold without a permit.”
Both animals were found on private property.
“Ferrets can have a significant impact on native wildlife and domestic animals, particularly poultry, and can also be a vector for a number of serious diseases,” the spokeswoman said.
Ferrets are a small, carnivorous mammal with body 20– 45cm long, tail 7– 15cm long and can weight up to 2.7kg.
Their body is long and slinky and their legs are short.
They like to live in forested and semi- forested areas near water sources, including grassland, scrub, riverbeds and pasture.
Ferrets don’t mind bunking down in farmland, wide hedge banks, marshes, rubbish tip urban areas.
While they look like rabbits, they don’t breed like them.
They’ll have one litter a year, averaging about eight kits, and they live for about four year in the wild.
As for diet, they’ll eat small native animals including birds and marsupials.
They’re fond of eggs and will crawl into a nest to snack on unborn chicks.
If you see a ferret, phone the South Burnett Regional Council on 4189 9100 or Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.