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Culling Cats is Ineffective, Study Finds

posted: 04/09/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Portrait of carcal cat.
Karl Ammann/DCI

Government officials studying the impact of culling on the feral cat population in Australia determined that the program has actually increased cat numbers. Culling, the controversial practice of euthanizing large populations of predators that threaten biodiversity, has been employed to combat the growing feral cat population, which is devastating populations of smaller mammals in forest areas.

"I actually had more cats running around on those sites than beforehand," wildlife biologist Billie Lazenby told the ABC. "We recorded a 75 to 211 percent increase in the minimum number of feral cats known to be alive in the culled areas."

Lazenby goes on to explain that dominant, adventurous cats are frequently the victims of culling efforts. With the dominant cats out of the picture, multiple subordinate cats move in "to check out the territory that's been freed up."

Instead of culling, she recommends other methods that minimize the feral cat population's impact by protecting the small animals upon which they prey.

Click here for more information from the Australian Broadcasting Company

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