Friday, March 30, 2012

The Wildlife Society Western section conference > cats

The Wildlife Society Western Society 2012 Conference
FEBRUARY 1-3, 2012
SACRAMENTO, CA

TWSWS 2012 Abstracts


INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR PREDATOR RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT SUPPORTING LISTED SPECIES RECOVERY ON THE NAVAL AUXILIARY LANDING FIELD, SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CALIFORNIA
DANIEL BITEMAN, Institute for Wildlife Studies, 2327 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA, 92101, (619) 524-9064, biteman@iws.org; Co-authors: Andrew S. Bridges and David K. Garcelon

Ecology and Management of Wildlife on Military Lands Thu, Feb 2, 2:25 pm

Abstract: Recovery programs for federally listed San Clemente loggerhead shrike (SCLS; Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi) and San Clemente sage sparrow (SAGS; Amphispiza belli clementeae) have been conducted by the U.S. Navy since the 1990s. Non-native mammalian predators were implicated in the historic population declines and remain an obstacle to recovery. The population of SCLS reached a low of 14 individuals in 1998, requiring extreme measures to protect the population. We have worked with the Navy to reduce predation threats by developing a variety of innovative technological techniques for managing predation. These include shock-collars attached to native island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) to protect nest sites, and a variety of still-frame and video monitoring systems to identify species predating nests. An automated trap-monitoring system allows us to be immediately alerted, either directly or via the internet, if a trap has been tripped. Finally, we employed a mobile, thermal infrared surveillance and video camera system allowing us to locate, identify, and removal spotlight-wary feral cats. These techniques have provided a more quantitative understanding of predation effects and allow us to better allocate protection efforts. In the future these and similar technologies will likely play an increasing role in SAGS and other avian species recovery programs.


WHERE HAVE HALF THE FOXES GONE? DETERMINING THE MECHANISMS UNDERLYING A POPULATION DECLINE IN SAN NICOLAS ISLAND FOXES.
BRIAN HUDGENS, Institute for Wildlife Studies, P.O. Box 1104, Arcata, CA, 95503, (707) 822-4258,
hudgens@iws.org; Co-author: David K. Garcelon

Ecology and Management of Wildlife on Military Lands Thu, Feb 2, 3:45 pm

Abstract: San Nicolas Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis dickeyi) suffered a dramatic decline from 2009 to 2010, following island-wide removal of feral cats (Felis catus). Foxes have been monitored annually since 2000 on three trapping grids. Although San Nicolas Island supports higher densities of foxes of any California Channel Island, population declined 30%-50% on two grids and remained relatively stable on another. Adult survival also decreased 37% in the two grids, while increasing in the other. There was also a decrease in juvenile survival from 2009-2010 relative to previous years. We examined several possible mechanisms for the decline. Feral cat removal was ruled out because being captured in a leg-hold trap did not decrease fox survival. We could not rule out virulent disease since there was a marked increase in canine adenovirus and canine distemper exposure. However, we handled 290 foxes in 2010 to assess potential impacts of cat removal on individual foxes, and no foxes showed clinical signs of disease. We rejected a dramatic loss of food resources since fox weights did not differ between 2009 and 2010. We concluded that the most likely cause was negative density dependence in adult survival. The mechanism underlying density dependent survival rates remains unknown.

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Feral Cat Blog! Note:

Some time soon I may post the recent reports from the San Nicolas Island Feral Cat Removal project. See previous Feral Cat Blog! post here:

Monday, May 23, 2005
Primary and Compensatory Restoration -- Feral Cat Eradication


Wednesday, June 18, 2008
San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication plan


Thursday, June 19, 2008
san nicolas island feral cats: HSUS press release