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Extraterritorial hunting expeditions to intense fire scars by feral cats


McGregor, HW and Legge, S and Jones, ME and Johnson, CN, Extraterritorial hunting expeditions to intense fire scars by feral cats, Scientific Reports, 6 Article 22559. ISSN 2045-2322 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/srep22559


Feral cats are normally territorial in Australia’s tropical savannahs, and hunt intensively with homeranges only two to three kilometres across. Here we report that they also undertake expeditions of up to 12.5 km from their home ranges to hunt for short periods over recently burned areas. Cats are especially likely to travel to areas burned at high intensity, probably in response to vulnerability of prey soon after such fires. The movements of journeying cats are highly directed to specific destinations. We argue that the effect of this behaviour is to increase the aggregate impact of cats on vulnerable prey. This has profound implications for conservation, considering the ubiquity of feral cats and global trends of intensified fire regimes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:threatened species, predation, fire ecology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:McGregor, HW (Dr Hugh McGregor)
UTAS Author:Jones, ME (Professor Menna Jones)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
ID Code:112308
Year Published:2016
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP100100033)
Web of Science® Times Cited:66
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2016-11-03
Last Modified:2017-10-31
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