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

Friday, 10 January 2014

Diet of feral cats at a rubbish dump

Hutchings, S. 2003. The diet of feral house cats (Felis catus) at a regional rubbish tip, Victoria. Wildlife Research30:103-110.

The diet of feral cats (Felis catus) inhabiting a regional rubbish tip (dump) in Victoria was studied to determine whether cats utilised garbage or live prey from the surrounding heathlands for food. Between 30 and 50 cat scats were collected from the tip over two years in each of four sampling periods: spring 1997, autumn 1998, spring 1998 and autumn 1999. The scats were analysed to determine major dietary components, dietary breadth and seasonal overlap of diet. Bone fragments from meat scraps were the most frequent dietary item detected in the scats. Vertebrate prey species occurred less often in the cats' diet but a variety of both introduced and native species were represented. Analysis of dietary breadth confirmed that cats selected mainly meat and chicken scraps from the garbage but indicated that vertebrates were hunted opportunistically. Control measures are suggested to reduce cat numbers at regional rubbish tips to relieve potential impact on native wildlife.

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