Eradicating feral cats to protect Galapagos Land Iguanas: methods and strategies

Phillips, R.B., Cooke, B.D., Campbell, K. J., Carrion, V.G., Marquez, C. and Snell, H. (2005) Eradicating feral cats to protect Galapagos Land Iguanas: methods and strategies. Pacific Conservation Biology, 11 4: 257-267.

Author Phillips, R.B.
Cooke, B.D.
Campbell, K. J.
Carrion, V.G.
Marquez, C.
Snell, H.
Title Eradicating feral cats to protect Galapagos Land Iguanas: methods and strategies
Journal name Pacific Conservation Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1038-2097
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 257
End page 267
Total pages 11
Editor Harry Recher
Place of publication Chipping Norton, N.S.W., Australia
Publisher Surrey Beatty and Sons
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
270709 Biogeography
770303 Control of pests and exotic species
Abstract A three-year programme to eradicate Feral Cats Felis catus from the island of Baltra in the Galapagos archipelago achieved good results by Initially poisoning with sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080) then trapping or shooting the remaining cats. The poisoning campaign removed 90% of the cats, its success being attributable to pre-baiting with unpolsoned baits to accustom cats to eating baits and placing enough baits to ensure that all cats encountered several baits within their home range. This, together with the use of metaclopromide (Pileran) as an anti-emetic, overcame a problem associated with poor retention of 1080 in thawed fish baits that limited the dose available to 1 mg 1080lbait, a quality Insufficient to kill large cats. Removal of the remaining cats was delayed by a weather-Induced irruption of Black Rats Rattus rattus and House Mice Mus musculus that enabled recruitment of kittens in 2002, but made cats more susceptible to trapping and shooting in 2003 when rodent populations collapsed. Since July 2003 no sign of a cat has been detected on Baltra despite extensive searching and monitoring throughout 2004. As cat abundance has decreased there have been more locally-bred Juvenile iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) seen during annual censuses. However, such recruitment may reflect the increasing maturity and higher fecundity of iguanas repatriated from 1991 onwards rather than being a direct result of reduced cat predation alone. More time is necessary to determine the benefits of reduced cat predation on the Iguana population.
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 06:36:14 EST