Details of this species in Macquarie Is. (sub-Antarctic)
Source: Clout & Russell, 2006
Arrival Date: 1820
Species Notes for this Location:
Domestic cats Felis catus were feral on Macquarie Island by 1820 (Brothers et al. 1985), only 10 years after the island was discovered by sealers. Introduced rats make up 3% of the diet of cats on Macquarie Island (Zavaleta et al. 2001). Rabbits are also present on this island. Jones (1977) found that the adult population of cats on Macquarie Island was between 250 and 500, with food availability in winter being an important limiting factor.
Management Notes for this Location:
Felis catus was eradicated from Macquarie Island between 1997 and 2003 via poisoning, trapping and dogs (Copson & Whinam 2001, in Clout & Russell, 2006).
Other: Depredations by cats greatly reduced the numbers of burrow-nesting petrels on the island and, together with the weka Gallirallus australis, cats were probably responsible for the extinction of the endemic red-fronted parakeet (see Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and banded rail Rallus phillippensis before 1900. Cat numbers on subantarctic islands fluctuate seasonally according to fluctuations in the abundance and availability of prey (rabbits and burrow-nesting petrels). When rabbits are absent, winter-breeding burrow-nesting petrels sustain cats through winter, taking the brunt of cat predation (Brothers et al. 1985).
Last Modified: 24/07/2006 3:28:43 p.m.