Bronwyn Fancourt

Research interests

  • Conservation and wildlife management
  • Vertebrate pest control
  • Predator interactions
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Camera trapping
  • Climate change
  • Disease ecology
  • Experimental design


Bronwyn is a wildlife ecologist, with experience in wildlife and vertebrate pest research. She has extensive research experience with a range of wildlife, including eastern quolls, Tasmanian devils, spotted-tailed quolls and koalas. Since completing her honours and PhD research in Tasmania, Bronwyn's research has focused on applied outcomes to improve management of vertebrate pests. Prior to joining the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, she worked in the ACT, helping develop and refine appropriate monitoring techniques to detect and eradicate rabbits from a predator-proof wildlife reserve. Since 2016, Bronwyn has worked with various state government agencies, including Biosecurity Queensland and NSW Department of Primary Industries, on improving feral cat management in eastern Australia. She was the Queensland representative on the National Feral Cat Taskforce (2016-2018) and currently provides technical advice to several feral cat control and eradication programs across Australia. Bronwyn is currently based at the University of New England in Armidale, working on a large collaborative research project between UNE, DPI and NPWS, investigating and developing effective management strategies for feral cats. She currently supervises several honours and post-graduate students at UNE.


  • PhD (Wildlife Ecology and Management), University of Tasmania
  • GradCert in Research, University of Tasmania
  • BSc (Hons), University of Tasmania
  • BSc (Zoology, Ecosystem Management), University of New England
  • BCom (Acc), University of Western Sydney
  • Cert IV (Veterinary Nursing), New England Institute of TAFE

Current projects

  • Developing effective management strategies for feral cats
  • Assessing the non-target impacts of Curiosity feral cat baits
  • Assessing the safety and efficacy of Doggone baits for wild dog control
  • Spatial ecology of spotted-tailed quolls in the Hunter Valley
  • Spatial ecology of feral cats and the implications for effective management in Queensland

Recent publications

Fancourt BA, Cremasco P, Wilson C & Gentle M (2019). Do introduced apex predators suppress introduced mesopredators? A multiscale spatiotemporal study of dingoes and feral cats in Australia suggests not. Journal of Applied Ecology. 56, 2584-2595

Hayward MW, Edward S, Fancourt BA, Linnell JDC & Nilsen E (2019). Top-down control of ecosystems and the case for rewilding: does it all add up? In Rewilding (Eds. N. Pettorelli, S. Durant, & J DuToit) (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK). pp. 325-364 [Chapter 16].

Fancourt BA & Nicol SC (2019). Hematologic and serum biochemical reference intervals for wild eastern quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus): variation by age, sex and season. Veterinary Clinical Pathology. 48(1), 114-124.

Fancourt BA, Cremasco P, Harry G, Speed J, Wilson C & Gentle M (2019). Evaluation of different baiting strategies for the control of feral cats in eastern Australia. Proceedings of the 1st Queensland Pest Animal and Weeds Symposium, 20-23 May 2019, Gold Coast, Queensland. 151-155.

Taggart PL, Peacock DE & Fancourt BA (2019) Camera trap flash type does not influence feral cat behaviour. Australian Mammalogy. In press.

Taggart PL, Fancourt BA, Bengsen AJ, Peacock DE, Hodgens P, Read JL, McAllister MM & Caraguel CGB (2019). Evidence of significantly higher island feral cat abundance compared to the adjacent mainland. Wildlife Research. 46(5), 378-385.

Taggart PL, Fancourt BA, Peacock DE, Caraguel CGB & McAllister MM (2019). Variation in Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence: effects of site, sex, species and behaviour between insular and mainland macropods. Wildlife Research. In press.

Taggart PL, Fancourt BA, Fabijan J, Peacock DE, Speight KN, Caraguel CGB & McAllister MM (2019). No evidence of Toxoplasma gondii exposure in South Australian koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus). Journal of Parasitology. 105(4), 638-641.

Fancourt BA, Hawkins CE, & Nicol SC (2018). Mechanisms of climate-change-induced species decline: spatial, temporal and long-term variation in the diet of an endangered marsupial carnivore, the eastern quoll. Wildlife Research. 45(8), 737-750.

Fancourt BA, Fletcher D & Sweeney M (2018). More haste, less speed: pilot study suggests camera trap detection zone could be more important than trigger speed to maximise species detections. Australian Mammalogy. 40(1), 118-121.

Peacock D, Fancourt BA, McDowell M & Abbott I (2018). Survival histories of marsupial carnivores on Australian continental shelf islands highlight climate change and Europeans as likely extirpation factors: implications for island predator restoration. Biodiversity and Conservation. 27(10), 2477-2494.

Legge S, Murphy BP, McGregor H, Woinarski JCZ, Augusteyn J, Ballard G, Baseler M, Buckmaster T, Dickman CR, Doherty T, Edwards G, Eyre T, Fancourt BA, Ferguson D, Forsyth DM, Geary WL, Gentle M, Gillespie G, Greenwood L, Hohnen R, Hume S, Johnson CN, Maxwell M, McDonald PJ, Morris K, Moseby K, Newsome T, Nimmo D, Paltridge R, Ramsey D, Read J, Rendall A, Rich M, Ritchie E, Rowland J, Short J, Stokeld D, Sutherland DR, Wayne AF, Woodford L, & Zewe F (2017). Enumerating a continental-scale threat: how many feral cats are in Australia? Biological Conservation. 206, 293-303.

Fancourt BA (2016). Avoiding the subject: the implications of avoidance behaviour for detecting predators. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. 70(9), 1535-1546.

Fancourt BA & Mooney N (2016). Tasmanian devils are likely a blunt instrument: a comment on Hunter et al. (2015). Biological Conservation. 196, 213-214.

Fancourt BA (2016). Diagnosing species decline: a contextual review of threats, causes and future directions for management and conservation of the eastern quoll. Wildlife Research 43(3), 197-211.

Fancourt BA, Hawkins CE, Cameron EZ, Jones ME & Nicol SC (2015).  Devil declines and catastrophic cascades: is mesopredator release of feral cats inhibiting recovery of the eastern quoll? PLOS ONE. 10(3) e0119303.

Fancourt BA (2015). Making a killing: photographic evidence of feral cat (Felis catus) predation of a Tasmanian pademelon (Thylogale billardierii). Australian Mammalogy 37(1) 120-124.

Fancourt BA, Bateman BL, VanDerWal J, Nicol SC, Hawkins CE, Jones ME & Johnson CN (2015). Testing the role of climate change in species decline: is the eastern quoll a victim of a change in the weather? PLOS ONE. 10(6) e0129420.

Fancourt BA & Jackson RB (2014).  Regional seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in feral and stray cats (Felis catus) from Tasmania. Australian Journal of Zoology 62(4) 272-283.

Fancourt BA, Nicol SC, Hawkins CE, Jones ME & Johnson CN (2014).  Beyond the disease: is Toxoplasma gondii infection causing population declines in the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)? International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 3(2) 102-112.

Fancourt BA (2014). Rapid decline in detections of the Tasmanian bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) following local incursion of feral cats (Felis catus). Australian Mammalogy 36(2) 247-253.

Jones ME, Burnett S, Claridge A, Fancourt B, Köertner G, Morris K, Peacock D, Troy S & Woinarski J. (2014) Australia’s surviving marsupial carnivores: threats and conservation. In Carnivores of Australia: past, present and future (Eds. AS Glen & CR Dickman) (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood), 201-246.

Fancourt BA, Hawkins CE & Nicol SC (2013).  Evidence of rapid population decline of the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) in Tasmania. Australian Mammalogy 35(2), 195-205.

Google Scholar:

Professional associations and activities

  • Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England
  • Australasian Wildlife Management Society
  • Australian Mammal Society
  • Wildlife Disease Association – Australasian Section

Fields of research

  • 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
  • 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 050206 Environmental Monitoring
  • 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
  • 060201 Behavioural Ecology
  • 060207 Population Ecology
  • 060208 Terrestrial Ecology

Australian Bureau of Statistics classifications

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • wildlife management
  • pest animal control
  • vertebrate pests
  • invasive predators

Contact details