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Long-distance movements of feral cats in semi-arid South Australia and implications for conservation management


Jansen, J and McGregor, H and Axford, G and Dean, AT and Comte, S and Johnson, CN and Moseby, KE and Brandle, R and Peacock, DE and Jones, M, Long-distance movements of feral cats in semi-arid South Australia and implications for conservation management, Animals, 11, (11) Article 3125. ISSN 2076-2615 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ani11113125


To efficiently control invasive animals, it is vital to have knowledge about their behaviour, their movements and how they use the landscape. Unusual behaviour is normally excluded from datasets, as it is considered to be an outlier that may distort analyses. In our study, we present movement data from feral cats in the arid and semi-arid zones of Australia. Feral cats are a serious problem to the native wildlife of Australia and in many parts of the world. Cats are known to show fidelity to geographic areas and may defend them against other cats. Until now, research has focused on these areas, home ranges or territories, that feral cats need to survive and reproduce. We argue that a part of their movement behaviour, large journeys away from the area they normally use, has been overlooked and has been considered to be unusual behaviour. We explain why we think that this is the case and present examples from other studies additional to our data set to show that these long-distance movements are a regular occurrence. To achieve a better protection of native wildlife from predation by feral cats, we believe that these long-distance movements should be considered as part of the normal behaviour of feral cats when planning cat control operations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Felis catus, introduced predator, invasive species management, reinvasion, space use, landscape, relocation, telemetry, home range
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Jansen, J (Mr Jeroen Jansen)
UTAS Author:McGregor, H (Dr Hugh McGregor)
UTAS Author:Dean, AT (Miss Abbey Dean)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
UTAS Author:Jones, M (Professor Menna Jones)
ID Code:152585
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-08-22
Last Modified:2022-09-01
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