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, 4 March 2014

Spacing patterns in a rural cat population in Sweden

Liberg, O. (1980). Spacing patterns in a population of rural free roaming domestic cats. Oikos, 336-349.

Spacing patterns in a population of domestic and feral cats in a rural area in southern Sweden were investigated by visual observations, trapping and radio tracking. Females lived alone or in groups around human households. Within each female group the home ranges almost completely overlapped, but between different female groups there was little or no overlap. Most females remained in the same place all their lives, but a few individuals moved and became established at new households, invariably one where there were no other female cats. There were always six to eight feral, well established males in the area, with moderately overlapping home ranges. These ranges were considerably larger than those of females, and one male might include several female groups within his home range. Young males, born in the area, stayed with the female group, where they were born until they were 1.5-3 yr old. They then left and tried to settle somewhere else. Spacing patterns in this cat population can be explained by the influence of proximate and ultimate factors, among which intraspecific aggression and adaptation to living in human households are the most important. Parallel evolution of lion and house cat social organizations is discussed.

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