Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna

The number of mammals killed in Australia

Brett P. Murphy, Leigh Ann Woolley, Hayley M. Geyle, Sarah M. Legge, Russell Palmer, Chris R. Dickman, John Augusteyn, Stuart C. Brown, Sarah Comer, Tim S. Doherty, Charlie Eager, Glenn Edwards, Damien A. Fordham, Dan Harley, Peter J. McDonald, Hugh McGregor, Katherine E. Moseby, Cecilia Myers, John Read, Joanna Riley & 4 others Danielle Stokeld, Gavin J. Trewella, Jeff M. Turpin, John C.Z. Woinarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Predation by cats (Felis catus) is implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian mammal species. We estimate the number of mammals killed by cats across Australia through meta-analysis of data on the frequency of mammals in cat diet samples from 107 studies. For feral cats in largely natural landscapes, the spatially-weighted mean frequency of mammals in diet samples was 70% (44% for native species, 34% for introduced species). Frequency was significantly higher on the mainland, and in areas of low temperature and topographic ruggedness. Geographic patterns varied markedly between native and introduced mammals, with native mammals most frequent in northern Australia. We estimate that: (i) 815 million individuals yr−1 are killed by feral cats in natural landscapes, 56% of which are native species; (ii) 149 million individuals yr−1 are killed by unowned cats in highly modified landscapes; and (iii) 180 million individuals yr−1 are killed by pet cats. For the latter two components, mainly introduced species are killed. Collectively, across the three components of the cat population, 1,144 million individuals yr−1 are killed by cats, of which, at least 40% (459 million individuals yr−1) are native species. It remains challenging to interpret this tally in terms of its impact on population viability for Australian mammals, because demographic information is not available for most species. However, our estimate of annual mammal mortality due to cat predation is substantially higher than that due to another key threatening process, land clearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-40
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume237
Early online date20 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

mammal
ingestion
fauna
mammals
cats
native species
introduced species
indigenous species
predation
diet
meta-analysis
viability
extinction
pets
mortality
demographic statistics
sampling
temperature

Cite this

Murphy, Brett P. ; Woolley, Leigh Ann ; Geyle, Hayley M. ; Legge, Sarah M. ; Palmer, Russell ; Dickman, Chris R. ; Augusteyn, John ; Brown, Stuart C. ; Comer, Sarah ; Doherty, Tim S. ; Eager, Charlie ; Edwards, Glenn ; Fordham, Damien A. ; Harley, Dan ; McDonald, Peter J. ; McGregor, Hugh ; Moseby, Katherine E. ; Myers, Cecilia ; Read, John ; Riley, Joanna ; Stokeld, Danielle ; Trewella, Gavin J. ; Turpin, Jeff M. ; Woinarski, John C.Z. / Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna : The number of mammals killed in Australia. In: Biological Conservation. 2019 ; Vol. 237. pp. 28-40.
@article{1777fe1c98634b74a0288d9155fcaa52,
title = "Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna: The number of mammals killed in Australia",
abstract = "Predation by cats (Felis catus) is implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian mammal species. We estimate the number of mammals killed by cats across Australia through meta-analysis of data on the frequency of mammals in cat diet samples from 107 studies. For feral cats in largely natural landscapes, the spatially-weighted mean frequency of mammals in diet samples was 70{\%} (44{\%} for native species, 34{\%} for introduced species). Frequency was significantly higher on the mainland, and in areas of low temperature and topographic ruggedness. Geographic patterns varied markedly between native and introduced mammals, with native mammals most frequent in northern Australia. We estimate that: (i) 815 million individuals yr−1 are killed by feral cats in natural landscapes, 56{\%} of which are native species; (ii) 149 million individuals yr−1 are killed by unowned cats in highly modified landscapes; and (iii) 180 million individuals yr−1 are killed by pet cats. For the latter two components, mainly introduced species are killed. Collectively, across the three components of the cat population, 1,144 million individuals yr−1 are killed by cats, of which, at least 40{\%} (459 million individuals yr−1) are native species. It remains challenging to interpret this tally in terms of its impact on population viability for Australian mammals, because demographic information is not available for most species. However, our estimate of annual mammal mortality due to cat predation is substantially higher than that due to another key threatening process, land clearing.",
keywords = "Conservation, Diet, Feral cat, Introduced predator, Mortality, Predation",
author = "Murphy, {Brett P.} and Woolley, {Leigh Ann} and Geyle, {Hayley M.} and Legge, {Sarah M.} and Russell Palmer and Dickman, {Chris R.} and John Augusteyn and Brown, {Stuart C.} and Sarah Comer and Doherty, {Tim S.} and Charlie Eager and Glenn Edwards and Fordham, {Damien A.} and Dan Harley and McDonald, {Peter J.} and Hugh McGregor and Moseby, {Katherine E.} and Cecilia Myers and John Read and Joanna Riley and Danielle Stokeld and Trewella, {Gavin J.} and Turpin, {Jeff M.} and Woinarski, {John C.Z.}",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.biocon.2019.06.013",
language = "English",
volume = "237",
pages = "28--40",
journal = "Biological Conservation",
issn = "0006-3207",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Murphy, BP, Woolley, LA, Geyle, HM, Legge, SM, Palmer, R, Dickman, CR, Augusteyn, J, Brown, SC, Comer, S, Doherty, TS, Eager, C, Edwards, G, Fordham, DA, Harley, D, McDonald, PJ, McGregor, H, Moseby, KE, Myers, C, Read, J, Riley, J, Stokeld, D, Trewella, GJ, Turpin, JM & Woinarski, JCZ 2019, 'Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna: The number of mammals killed in Australia', Biological Conservation, vol. 237, pp. 28-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.06.013

Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna : The number of mammals killed in Australia. / Murphy, Brett P.; Woolley, Leigh Ann; Geyle, Hayley M.; Legge, Sarah M.; Palmer, Russell; Dickman, Chris R.; Augusteyn, John; Brown, Stuart C.; Comer, Sarah; Doherty, Tim S.; Eager, Charlie; Edwards, Glenn; Fordham, Damien A.; Harley, Dan; McDonald, Peter J.; McGregor, Hugh; Moseby, Katherine E.; Myers, Cecilia; Read, John; Riley, Joanna; Stokeld, Danielle; Trewella, Gavin J.; Turpin, Jeff M.; Woinarski, John C.Z.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 237, 01.09.2019, p. 28-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Introduced cats (Felis catus) eating a continental fauna

T2 - The number of mammals killed in Australia

AU - Murphy, Brett P.

AU - Woolley, Leigh Ann

AU - Geyle, Hayley M.

AU - Legge, Sarah M.

AU - Palmer, Russell

AU - Dickman, Chris R.

AU - Augusteyn, John

AU - Brown, Stuart C.

AU - Comer, Sarah

AU - Doherty, Tim S.

AU - Eager, Charlie

AU - Edwards, Glenn

AU - Fordham, Damien A.

AU - Harley, Dan

AU - McDonald, Peter J.

AU - McGregor, Hugh

AU - Moseby, Katherine E.

AU - Myers, Cecilia

AU - Read, John

AU - Riley, Joanna

AU - Stokeld, Danielle

AU - Trewella, Gavin J.

AU - Turpin, Jeff M.

AU - Woinarski, John C.Z.

PY - 2019/9/1

Y1 - 2019/9/1

N2 - Predation by cats (Felis catus) is implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian mammal species. We estimate the number of mammals killed by cats across Australia through meta-analysis of data on the frequency of mammals in cat diet samples from 107 studies. For feral cats in largely natural landscapes, the spatially-weighted mean frequency of mammals in diet samples was 70% (44% for native species, 34% for introduced species). Frequency was significantly higher on the mainland, and in areas of low temperature and topographic ruggedness. Geographic patterns varied markedly between native and introduced mammals, with native mammals most frequent in northern Australia. We estimate that: (i) 815 million individuals yr−1 are killed by feral cats in natural landscapes, 56% of which are native species; (ii) 149 million individuals yr−1 are killed by unowned cats in highly modified landscapes; and (iii) 180 million individuals yr−1 are killed by pet cats. For the latter two components, mainly introduced species are killed. Collectively, across the three components of the cat population, 1,144 million individuals yr−1 are killed by cats, of which, at least 40% (459 million individuals yr−1) are native species. It remains challenging to interpret this tally in terms of its impact on population viability for Australian mammals, because demographic information is not available for most species. However, our estimate of annual mammal mortality due to cat predation is substantially higher than that due to another key threatening process, land clearing.

AB - Predation by cats (Felis catus) is implicated in the decline and extinction of many Australian mammal species. We estimate the number of mammals killed by cats across Australia through meta-analysis of data on the frequency of mammals in cat diet samples from 107 studies. For feral cats in largely natural landscapes, the spatially-weighted mean frequency of mammals in diet samples was 70% (44% for native species, 34% for introduced species). Frequency was significantly higher on the mainland, and in areas of low temperature and topographic ruggedness. Geographic patterns varied markedly between native and introduced mammals, with native mammals most frequent in northern Australia. We estimate that: (i) 815 million individuals yr−1 are killed by feral cats in natural landscapes, 56% of which are native species; (ii) 149 million individuals yr−1 are killed by unowned cats in highly modified landscapes; and (iii) 180 million individuals yr−1 are killed by pet cats. For the latter two components, mainly introduced species are killed. Collectively, across the three components of the cat population, 1,144 million individuals yr−1 are killed by cats, of which, at least 40% (459 million individuals yr−1) are native species. It remains challenging to interpret this tally in terms of its impact on population viability for Australian mammals, because demographic information is not available for most species. However, our estimate of annual mammal mortality due to cat predation is substantially higher than that due to another key threatening process, land clearing.

KW - Conservation

KW - Diet

KW - Feral cat

KW - Introduced predator

KW - Mortality

KW - Predation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85067412386&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.06.013

DO - 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.06.013

M3 - Article

VL - 237

SP - 28

EP - 40

JO - Biological Conservation

JF - Biological Conservation

SN - 0006-3207

ER -