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

Thursday 21 July 2016

Inefficient TNR

Kilgour, R. J., Magle, S. B., Slater, M., Christian, A., Weiss, E., & DiTullio, M. (2016). Estimating free-roaming cat populations and the effects of one year Trap-Neuter-Return management effort in a highly urban area. Urban Ecosystems, 1-10.

Free-roaming cat populations are increasing in urban areas around the world. Management strategies remain controversial, as attempts to rapidly minimize the impact of cats may conflict with finding an ethical means of population reduction in this domesticated species. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a non-lethal strategy which can theoretically lead to population decline with an ethical approach. The present study aimed to estimate free-roaming cat populations and also to measure the efficacy of a one-year TNR campaign in a highly urban area. Using a sight/resight methodology, we examined free-roaming cat populations in four sites across two neighbourhoods (Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant) in New York City. Sampling was repeated after 1 year, during which an intensive TNR effort occurred in each of those areas. Results from this study found population estimates range from 2.6-4.1 cats/km. Additionally, we found between 78-98% turnover in each study area. After one year of TNR, the proportion of sterilised individuals in our treatment sites increased to 50%. Model results suggest there is no evidence that sterilised individuals are more likely to be encountered, indicating that sterilisation may not affect movement patterns of cats. Free-roaming cats occur at high densities at all study sites, though populations varied, even within the same neighbourhood. We found evidence of considerable migration within study sites, which further complicates the application of a sterilisation management strategy. Management strategies directed toward free-roaming cats, such as TNR, may require a broad-scale approach, involving different facets of the community and should occur over multiple years.

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