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

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Cat eradication on San Nicolas Island

Hanson, C.C. 2012. The removal of feral cats from San Nicolas Island, California, to Protect Native and Endemic Species: 2011 Annual Report. Island Conservation

Island Conservation, funded by the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, began conducting a seabird restoration project on San Nicolas Island in 2009. The restoration project continued through 2011 in an effort to counter the negative impacts of feral cats on marine birds and other native wildlife through the removal of invasive feral cats.
In coordination with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Institute for Wildlife Studies, and The Humane Society of the United States, Island Conservation (IC) was unable to detect any remaining cats on San Nicolas Island in 2011. A total of fifty nine feral cats have been removed to date. Of these, fifty two animals were transferred to The Humane Society of the United States, where they are housed and cared for in an outdoor, enclosed facility in Ramona, California.

On island, camera traps were strategically placed to remotely collect data for a duration of two to three months at a time. Staff would return to the island to upload, review and archive photos taken, assess the condition of the equipment and its placement, as well as relocate various cameras to new locations that were considered potential habitat for cats if any remained on island. This action was in line with current best practices and with achieving results using a detection probability analysis. The model suggested that to confirm complete removal with 99% confidence, 427-1200 camera nights or 55-75 km of sign searching should occur (Ramsey and Parks, 2010). By December 9, 2011, a total of 27,224 camera trap nights and 278.04 km of sign search had occurred with no cat detections since the last feral cat was removed on June 27, 2010. Based on information collected, efforts put toward detection, and our likelihood of detecting a feral cat had one been present, San Nicolas Island is now considered to be free of feral cats. Eradication confirmation will be publicaly declared in early 2012.

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