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Journal of Mammalogy. Della Torre, M. Kristy Dunn says:. Factors affecting the amount of prey caught and estimates of the impact on wildlife. Prioritization and analysis of pharmaceuticals for human use contaminating the aquatic ecosystem in Italy. Kumagai, Nature, vol.
Old Password. New Password. Mean DAR was 1. There was a significant difference in the mean daily area ranged during the day 1. As range areas differed significantly between day and night, their relationships with habitat availability and use were investigated separately. As there was no significant difference in relative garden and green space use, these were considered together and the log-ratio of both to urban habitat was used as the explanatory variable.
Similarly, we did not detect any seasonal differences Morgan et al. While it should be noted that the sample size was small, with a low number of female cats, they lie within the typical range of sample sizes for such studies Barratt a ; Meek ; Kays and DeWan Furthermore, the cats utilized in this study were all neutered.
Significant differences in ranging areas between day and night were found and near significant differences were also found in day and night maximum ranging area. Cats ranged further during the night see also Barratt a ; Metsers et al. Although domestic cats show a greater tendency towards diurnal activity than feral cats, possibly due to their domestication Turner and Bateson , feral cats are more active at night Alterio and Moller This study shows that pet cats still may exhibit this tendency, by ranging further.
This may be in part due to decreased road traffic and less conspecific conflict, as evidence has shown the spatial movement patterns of cats are determined by busy roads and density, spatial distribution and social dominance of individual cats Barratt a. There were no significant relationships between the daily area ranged, maximum daily area ranged and habitat type.
This is unexpected, as an a priori expectation may be that cats would roam over a wider area if less suitable habitat was available. However, cats did vary in habitat preferences, spending disproportionately more time in gardens and other green habitats, than urban habitats. Taken together, these results suggest that while habitat availability does not affect the ranging area, it does influence habitat use, with cats spending more time in gardens and green areas.
This in itself is unsurprising, given that ranging cats will be seeking prey and avoiding disturbance. It is vital when considering the effects of cat predation on wild bird and small mammal populations to understand how cats use their environment. When discussing the mitigation techniques that could be implemented, the banning of cat ownership near ecologically sensitive areas, such as heathland, has been proposed Leake and Cracknell The acceptability of this measure to residents within the UK is mixed though, with less than half of respondents questioned feeling that this is a justifiable approach Thomas et al.
This may become more acceptable to the public once it is determined whether or not cats are detrimentally affecting wildlife populations. Lilith et al. Within our study, the largest maximum daily area ranged by a cat was Furthermore, it could be argued that is an overly conservative approach. For example, estimates based on the mean MDAR 6. One additional factor that may also affect the ranging behaviour of cats that has not been considered in this study is the density of other cats and whether domestic cats are quasi-territorial feral cats typically are semi-social and territorial: Genovesi et al.
If it were the case that range size was negatively affected by cat density, then higher densities of cats may decrease range sizes and indeed this may explain the differences in nocturnal maximum ranging size considered above. It would be important to understand these effects, as it could be the case that by reducing numbers of cats in urban areas it may increase the areas ranged by those that remain; such density-dependent responses would suggest that buffer zones would need to be larger than those identified from studies of existing cat populations.
Again this would suggest that managers should err on the side of caution. Domestic cats are the most common mammalian predator in the UK, and as a result of their close links with people, cat densities can be exceptionally high in urban areas. With the recent growth in interest in urban ecology, it has become clear that many populations of birds and mammals are on the edge of sustainability in these human-modified habitats e.
Blair ; Goddard et al. While native predators are still present in these habitats albeit in lower densities, e.
We wish to thank the cat owners and cats who took part in this research. Requests for original data may be made to the corresponding author. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and the source are credited.
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Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Ranging characteristics of the domestic cat Felis catus in an urban environment.
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Open Access. First Online: 30 April Collectively, these have indicated no significant differences in range size between males and females Barratt a ; Meek ; Morgan et al. The complexity of habitat use by cats and the effect of habitat availability on ranging behaviour has not been investigated previously. Therefore in this study we used GPS tracking to obtain estimates of the area ranged by free-ranging pet cats in a large English town and how these varied in relation to 1 season, 2 sex, 3 day versus night and 4 habitat availability.
The loss of cats was due to cat deaths, householders moving home, or householders withdrawing from the study. The average age of the study cats was 7.
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