Scientists rally to keep out 'supercats'

To: "'Beth Mantle'" <>, "'Birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Scientists rally to keep out 'supercats'
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 11:50:03 +1000
The Executive Summary of Dickman (1996) states (in part):


"2) On the Australian mainland cats can impact on native mammals weighing up
to about 2000 g, but

impact falls most heavily on smaller species, especially those weighing <220
g. Vulnerability to predation

is enhanced for species occupying open or otherwise unprotected habitats,
and by behavioural

traits such as saltatory locomotion. Cats can impact on birds up to about
1000 g, but impact again

falls most heavily on smaller species weighing <200 g. Ground foragers and
ground nesters are most

vulnerable, especially in open habitats, although impact on hollow-nesting
species is also possible.

3) On islands, cats have had major impacts on terrestrial mammals up to 3000
g and birds up to 3500 g,

although smaller species are preferred. As in mainland situations,
vulnerability to impact is

increased if protective habitat is not available, if foraging, burrowing or
nesting activities take place

on the ground surface or other exposed sites and, for birds, if the island
is occupied year-round.

4) In mainland areas and on some islands where introduced mammals (rabbits,
Mus domesticus,

some Rattus spp.) or native mammals (usually Rattus spp.) reach high
densities, impacts of feral

cats on susceptible native fauna may be increased by a `subsidy' effect.
Impacts may be intensified if

other species of predators, such as foxes, are present.

5) Although long periods of apparently stable coexistence (i.e. several
years) are possible between

feral cats and potential prey, impact may still occur if `rogue' individuals
develop hunting skills for

particular prey species at any time. The impact may be major if the prey
population is small when

predation begins.

6) In Australia, in contrast to other parts of the world, feral cats are not
recorded to have impacted on any

species of reptiles, amphibians, fish or invertebrates. "




Dickman, C. (1996). Overview of the Impacts of Feral Cats on Australian
Native Fauna (Report Prepared for the Australian Nature Conservation Agency,


Dr Stephen Ambrose

Ryde, NSW




To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU