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

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Feral house diet in Victoria

Coman, B. J., & Brunner, H. (1972). Food habits of the feral house cat in Victoria. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 36 (3): 848-853.

A total of 128 feral domestic cats (Felis catus) were collected from two different habitat types in Victoria. The stomachs of 80 of these cats contained food. Mammals, chiefly rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), small murids, and phalangers, comprised some 88 percent, by volume, of the total dietary intake. Birds, cold-blooded vertebrates, and invertebrates were of secondary importance in the diet, accounting for only 5.2 percent, by volume, of the total intake. Grass and small twigs occurred frequently in the stomachs, but the volume represented was small (1.4 percent). Other items, mainly carrion and cat fur, accounted for 5.4 percent of the intake on a volume basis. Feral cats from undeveloped bush areas relied heavily on small indigenous mammals, whereas rabbits and house mice (Mus musculus) were the main mammalian prey species eaten in improved and semi-improved agricultural areas. Remains of indigenous mammals were not found in the stomachs of cats from the latter areas. It appears that feral cats are opportunist predators and scavengers and that the level of predation on any one prey type will depend largely on its relative availability. As a consequence, predation on native mammals is probably limited to those undeveloped areas of bush and scrub where such species are more plentiful.

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