Interactions between two naturalised invasive predators in Australia: are feral cats suppressed by dingoes?

Allen, Benjamin L., Allen, Lee R. and Leung, Luke K.-P. (2014) Interactions between two naturalised invasive predators in Australia: are feral cats suppressed by dingoes?. Biological Invasions, 17 2: 761-776. doi:10.1007/s10530-014-0767-1

Author Allen, Benjamin L.
Allen, Lee R.
Leung, Luke K.-P.
Title Interactions between two naturalised invasive predators in Australia: are feral cats suppressed by dingoes?
Journal name Biological Invasions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-1464
Publication date 2014-08-17
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10530-014-0767-1
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Start page 761
End page 776
Total pages 16
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Abstract Top-predators can play important roles in terrestrial food webs, fuelling speculation that top-predators might be used as biocontrol tools against invasive mesopredators. Feral cats are believed to be largely responsible for the current declines of native fauna across tropical northern Australia, where substantial beef cattle production occurs. Dingoes are known to impact cattle production there and are predicted to impact native fauna also. However, dingoes are forecasted to curtail the impacts of cats and reverse native fauna declines. We review (1) empirical studies investigating the relationships between dingoes and cats, and dingo control and cats, (2) records of cat remains in dingo diets, and (3) historical records of lethal dingo control using 1080-poisoned baits across Australia between 1999 and 2008 to show how two naturalised invasive species can interact in dynamic agro-ecological landscapes. From the 35 studies assessed, most reported no detectable relationship between dingoes and cats; negative or positive relationships were seldom detected. Dingoes do not appear to exclude cats beyond fine scales, but may alter cat activity periods under certain conditions. Cat remains were found in only 0.63 % of over 31,000 dingo diet records. Lethal dingo control occurs (in varying degrees) across about two-thirds of Australia and does not appear to substantially influence dingo-cat relationships. We conclude that the presently available data provides little evidence that bolstering dingo populations will reduce the impacts of cats. Much more work is needed to identify situations where top-predators might be used as effective biocontrol tools against invasive mesopredators in agro-ecological systems.
Keyword Mesopredator release
Poison baiting
Predator control
Threatened fauna
Trophic cascade
Wild dog
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 17 Aug 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2015 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 16 Oct 2014, 21:15:32 EST by Dr Luke Leung on behalf of School of Agriculture and Food Sciences