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, 10 April 2013

Cats' diet on some Pacific islands

Jarvis and Howlnad
R.D. Kirkpatrick and Mark J. Rauzon. 1986. Foods of Feral Cats Felis catus on Jarvis and Howland Islands, Central Pacific Ocean. Biotropica, 18 (1): 72-75

Food habits of feral cats (Felis catus) were studied on two small uninhabited islands in the central Pacific Ocean. Cat stomach contents, collected on Howland Island in May 1979 and on Jarvis Island during May 1979 and June-July 1982, revealed that sooty terns (Sterna fuscata) were the primary prey species. Other seabirds, lizards, insects and, on Jarvis Island, house mice were also eaten. Fetal cats may have virtually exterminated the wedge-tailed shearwater colony on Jarvis Island.

Fitzgerald, B.M.; Kark, B.J. & Veitch, C.R. 1991. The diet of feral cats (Felis catus) on Raoul Island, Kermadec Group. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 15(2): 123-129.

Feral cats became established on Raoul Island some time between 1836 and 1872; the prey available to them included a great variety of nesting seabirds, few of which are present now, landbirds and kiore (Rattus
exulans). Norway rats reached the island in 1921, providing additional prey for cats, but also another potential predator of seabirds. The diet of cats is described from guts and scats collected between 1972 and 1980. Rats are the main food, with land birds second in importance, and seabirds are now a minor item. More than 90% of the rats eaten by cats are kiore although more Norway rats than kiore are trapped. Eradicating cats from Raoul Island is feasible but because Norway rats too are important predators of birds on islands, it is likely that eradicating cats without also eradicating Norway rats will do little to restore the diversity of bird species on Raoul Island, although the densities of a few species now present might be increased.

Hess, S. C.; Hansen, H.; Nelson, D.; Swift, R. & Banko, P. C. 2007. Diet of feral cats in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Pacific Conservation Biology, 13: 244–249.
We documented the diet of feral cats by analysing the contents of 42 digestive tracts from Kilauea and Mauna Loa in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Small mammals, invertebrates, and birds were the most common prey types consumed by feral cats. Birds occurred in 27.8-29.2% of digestive tracts. The total number of bird, small mammal, and invertebrate prey differed between Kilauea and Mauna Loa. On Mauna Loa, significantly more (89%) feral cats consumed small mammals, primarily rodents, than on Kilauea Volcano (50%). Mice (Mus musculus) were the major component of the feral cat diet on Mauna Loa, whereas Orthoptera were the major component of the diet on Kilauea. We recovered a mandible set, feathers, and bones of an endangered Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) from a digestive tract from Mauna Loa. This specimen represents the first well-documented endangered seabird to be recovered from the digestive tract of a feral cat in Hawai'i and suggests that feral cats prey on this species.

Smucker, T. D., G. D. Lindsey, & S. M. Mosher. 2000. Home range and diet of feral cats in Hawaii forests. Pacific Conservation Biology 6: 229–237.
Feral cat Felis catus home range in a Hawaiian montane wet forest and their diet in three habitats - montane wet forest, subalpine dry forest, and lowland dry forest - were determined to provide baseline ecological data and to assess potential impacts to native terrestrial fauna. Seven cats (three males and four females) were captured in 624 trap nights. Mean weight of adult cats was 2.85 0.27 (SE) kg for males and 1.87 0.03 kg for females. Mean diurnal home range using the adaptive kernel method was 5.74 2.73 km2 for three males and 2.23 0.44 km for two females. Daytime locations were always within the montane wet forest with the borders on one or more sides of the home ranges of all cats defined by open grassland pastures. Rodents comprised the majority of the cat diets in all three habitats, with the frequencies of occurrence between 0.88 and 0.91. Bird remains were a regular component of the diet of cats, with montane wet forest having the highest frequency of occurrence (0.68), followed by subalpine dry forest (0.53). and lowland dry forest (0.21).

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