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, 22 September 2013

Feral cat home range and habitat selection in central Australia

Edwards, G. P., De Preu, N., Shakeshaft, B. J., Crealy, I. V., & Paltridge, R. M. (2001). Home range and movements of male feral cats (Felis catus) in a semiarid woodland environment in central Australia. Austral Ecology, 26(1), 93-101.

There is a paucity of data on the movement patterns of feral cats in Australia. Such data can be used to refine control strategies and improve track-based methods of monitoring populations of feral cats. In this study the home ranges and movements of male feral cats were examined over 3.5 years in a semiarid woodland environment in central Australia. Two home range estimators were used in the examination: (i) minimum convex polygon (MCP); and (ii) fixed kernel. The most widely used method of estimating home range in feral cats is MCP, while the fixed kernel method can be used to identify core areas within a home range. On the basis of the MCP method, the long-term home ranges of feral cats in central Australia were much larger than those recorded elsewhere (mean, 2210.5 ha). Twenty-four hour home ranges were much smaller (mean, 249.7 ha) and feral cats periodically shifted their 24 h ranges within the bounds of their long-term home ranges. Core area analysis indicated marked heterogeneity of space use by male feral cats. Several instances where feral cats moved large distances (up to 34 km) were recorded. These long distance movements may have been caused by nutritional stress. Using data from the literature, it is shown that prey availability is a primary determinant of long-term home range size in feral cats. The relevance of the results to the design of management strategies for feral cats in central Australia is also discussed.

Edwards, G. P., Preu, N., Crealy, I. V., & Shakeshaft, B. J. (2002). Habitat selection by feral cats and dingoes in a semi‐arid woodland environment in central Australia. Austral Ecology, 27(1), 26-31.

Habitat use by feral cats and dingoes was examined within a heterogeneous semi-arid woodland site in central Australia over 2 years. Density estimates of feral cats based on tracks were higher in mulga habitat than in open habitat. Isodar analysis implied that this pattern of habitat use by feral cats was consistent with the consumer-resource model of density-dependent habitat selection, which is an ideal free solution. The reason why mulga supported higher densities of feral cats was unclear. Foraging success of feral cats may be higher in the mulga because the stalk and ambush hunting tactics typically employed by felids are well suited to dense cover. Mulga may also have offered feral cats more protection from dingo predation. Dingo activity was distributed uniformly across habitats. The dingo isodar was statistically non-significant, suggesting that habitat selection by dingoes was independent of density.

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