Welcome to the UPF Digital Repository

License to kill? Domestic cats affect a wide range of native fauna in a highly biodiverse mediterranean country

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.author Mori, Emiliano
dc.contributor.author Menchetti, Mattia
dc.contributor.author Camporesi, Alberto
dc.contributor.author Cavigioli, Luca
dc.contributor.author Tabarelli de Fatis, Karol
dc.contributor.author Girardello, Marco
dc.date.accessioned 2020-06-02T07:28:22Z
dc.date.available 2020-06-02T07:28:22Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation Mori E, Menchetti M, Camporesi A, Cavigioli L, Tabarelli de Fatis K, Girardello M. License to kill? Domestic cats affect a wide range of native fauna in a highly biodiverse mediterranean country. Front Ecol Evol. 2019; 7:477. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00477
dc.identifier.issn 2296-701X
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10230/44865
dc.description.abstract Amongst domestic animals, the domestic cat, Felis catus, is widely considered to be one of the most serious threats to wildlife conservation. This is particularly evident for island ecosystems, as data for mainland countries are often lacking. In Italy, the European country that is richest in biodiversity, cats are very popular pets. In this work, we aimed at assessing the potential spectrum of wild vertebrates that may be killed by free-ranging domestic cats, and we considered our results within the context of their conservation status and IUCN threat category. We collected data on the impact of cats both through a citizen science approach (wildlife predations by 145 cats belonging to 125 owners) and by following 21 of these 145 cats for 1 year and recording all of the prey they brought home. Domestic cats may kill at least 207 species (2042 predation events) in Italy; among those, 34 are listed as “Threatened” or “Near Threatened” by the IUCN and Italian Red Lists. Birds and mammals such as passerines and rodents were reported to be the groups most commonly killed by free-ranging cats. When considering this diet in functional trait space, we observed that the class occupying the largest functional space was that of birds, followed by mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Thus, the largest impact was on the functional structure of mammal and bird communities. The use of a collar bell did not affect the predation rate of cats, and the number of prey items brought home decreased with increasing distance from the countryside. We provided strong evidence that free-ranging domestic cats may seriously affect the conservation of threatened and non-threatened wildlife species, which are already suffering from population declines due to other causes, e.g., habitat loss. The mitigation of the impacts of domestic cats on wildlife requires dissemination projects promoting responsible cat ownership, as well as a restriction of free-ranging behavior, particularly at nighttime.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Frontiers
dc.relation.ispartof Front Ecol Evol. 2019; 7:477
dc.rights © 2019 Mori, Menchetti, Camporesi, Cavigioli, Tabarelli de Fatis and Girardello. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.title License to kill? Domestic cats affect a wide range of native fauna in a highly biodiverse mediterranean country
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
dc.identifier.doi http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00477
dc.subject.keyword Felis catus
dc.subject.keyword Alien species impacts
dc.subject.keyword Responsible pet ownership
dc.subject.keyword Predation rate
dc.subject.keyword Feral species
dc.rights.accessRights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
dc.type.version info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace

Advanced Search


My Account


Compliant to Partaking