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

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Estimation of urban free-roaming cats densities

Schmidt, P. M., Lopez, R. R., & Pierce, B. L. (2007). Estimating free-roaming cat densities in urban areas: comparison of mark-resight and distance sampling. Wildlife Biology in Practice, 3(1), 18-27.

Obtaining reliable population estimates is imperative in managing wildlife populations, particularly when attempting to implement nuisance control measures. Free-roaming cats (Felis catus) impact wildlife worldwide through predation, competition and disease transmission. Ideally, measures of controlling free-roaming cat populations should be evaluated a priori, which requires obtaining population estimates for use in population control programs (e.g., euthanasia, trap/treat/neuter/release). We compared mark-resight and distance sampling abundance estimates of free-roaming cats in an urban landscape, where limited public access to habitat frequently hinders the use of probabilistic sampling designs and associated sampling methodologies. We marked a subset of free-roaming cats (n = 52) with radio-collars in Caldwell, Texas to aid in obtaining our estimates. From road surveys (n = 20) conducted in August 2005, we found mark-resight estimates (N = 744, 95% CI 518-1,135) were significantly different (p = 0.008) to distance sampling estimates (N = 296, 95% CI 262-333). Study results suggest that distance sampling provides wildlife managers a viable alternative for estimating free-roaming cat populations in urban areas where minimal cost and training influence policy decisions regarding the implementation of monitoring and population control measures.

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