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Control of feral cats for nature conservation. II. Population reduction by poisoning

Short, J., Turner, B., Risbey, D.A. and Carnamah, R. (1997) Control of feral cats for nature conservation. II. Population reduction by poisoning. Wildlife Research, 24 (6). pp. 703-714.

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A feral cat population was substantially reduced by poisoning at a semi-arid site in Western Australia. The control programme was designed to protect two species of endangered native mammals that had recently been reintroduced to the site. Fetal cats were poisoned with carcasses of laboratory mice, each impregnated with 4.5 mg of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080). Baits were placed at 100-m intervals along the track system each night for four consecutive nights. Kill rates were assessed by monitoring survival of radio-collared cats and by spotlight counts of cats before and after baiting. All radio-collared cats were killed and there was a 74% reduction in spotlight counts of cats after baiting. Bait removal varied with the abundance of rabbits, the primary prey item for cats in this area. Effectiveness of control operations against fetal cats is maximised by baiting at times of low prey abundance. Monitoring the changing abundance of the primary prey species provides important information for timing control operations against feral cats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © CSIRO 1997
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