Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Rabbits killing birds revisited

Zhang, J., M Fan & Y. Kuang. 2006. Rabbits killing birds revisited. Biosciences, 203:100-123

We formulate and study a three-species population model consisting of an endemic prey (bird), an alien prey (rabbit) and an alien predator (cat). Our model overcomes several model construction problems in existing models. Moreover, our model generates richer, more reasonable and realistic dynamics. We explore the possible control strategies to save or restore the bird by controlling or eliminating the rabbit or the cat when the bird is endangered. We confirm the existence of the hyperpredation phenomenon, which is a big potential threat to most endemic prey. Specifically, we show that, in an endemic prey–alien prey–alien predator system, eradication of introduced predators such as the cat alone is not always the best solution to protect endemic insular prey since predator control may fail to protect the indigenous prey when the control of the introduced prey is not carried out simultaneously.

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