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

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cat's diet and prey impact in Sweden

Liberg, O. 1984. Food habits and prey impact by feral and house-based domestic cats in a rural area in southern Sweden. Journal of Mammalogy, 65(3): 424-432

Natural prey of domestic cats in the Revinge area in southern Sweden during 1974-79 was related to prey abundance, annual production, and availability. Of 1437 scats collected, 996 contained remains of vertebrate prey. Most cats (80-85%) were house-based and obtained from 15 to 90% of their food from natural prey, depending on abundance and availability of the latter. Wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were the most important prey, and cats responded functionally to changes in abundance and availability of this prey. Prolonged snow cover made rabbits vulnerable to cats irrespective of abundance. Small rodents were the second most important cat prey, while brown hares (Lepus europeus) and birds were less important. In a period with high rabbit abundance, cat predation corresponded to 4% of annual production of rabbits and to about 20% of annual production of field voles (Microtus agrestis) and wood mice (Apodemus silvaticus). Prey choice of feral cats was similar to that of house-based cats, but as the former subsisted almost completely on natural prey, their absolute intake (294g/day during years with high rabbit abundance) was 4 times that of an average house-based cat (66 g/day).

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