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Effectiveness of the Liberator™ in reducing predation on wildlife by domestic cats

Calver, M.C. and Thomas, S.R. (2011) Effectiveness of the Liberator™ in reducing predation on wildlife by domestic cats. Pacific Conservation Biology, 16 (4). pp. 244-250.

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We evaluated the effectiveness of the commercial collar-worn product the Liberator™ in reducing the number of vertebrates pet cats bring home. Fifteen cats identified by their owners as hunters bringing home at least one prey animal per fortnight were included in the study, which was carried out in Perth, Western Australia over six weeks in November/December 2006 (southern hemisphere late spring/early summer). Each cat spent three weeks wearing a Liberator™ and three weeks without it and the number of prey brought home by the cat during each period was recorded by its owner. Participating cats caught 91 prey (37 birds, 44 mammals and 10 herpetofauna). The Southern Brown Bandicoot was the only prey species of conservation concern. Liberators™ made no statistically significant difference in the number of cats catching prey, but did reduce the overall number of prey caught. Cats wearing Liberators™ caught only 38% of all birds, 40% of all herpetofauna and 30% of all mammals captured during the study. Despite this positive result several product failures occurred, so owners wishing to reduce predation by their cats will need to decide whether the Liberator™ is a cost-effective option.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
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