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, 25 March 2014

Virus-vectored immunocontraception to control feral cats

Courchamp, F. & S.J. Cornell. 2000. Virus-vectored immunocontraception to control feral
cats on islands: a mathematical model. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37: 903-913.

1.  Feral cats Felis catus introduced onto oceanic islands pose a major ecological threat to endemic vertebrates, but their control is difficult. Immunocontraception has not been considered previously as a method for their control or eradication, and therefore we used a modelling approach to assess whether virus-vectored immunocontraception (VVIC) might be effective.

2.  We compared the relative efficiency of cat control/eradication using immunocontraception and three different disseminating techniques, i.e. baits, genetically modified viral vectors, or both. We accounted for several forms of dynamic compensation likely to arise in a population with artificially reduced fertility.

3.  We conclude that, under the assumptions of our model, immunocontraception can control or eradicate feral cats on oceanic islands. VVIC was found to be a more efficient dissemination technique than baits, but an integrated method involving viral-infected baits was the most likely to lead to eradication.

4.  We advocate field trials of this VVIC technique, when available, under island conditions where any risks to non-target fauna would be minimal.

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