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Gatos en islas: un problema global de conservación

AuthorsMedina, Félix M. ; Bonnaud, Elsa; Vidal, Eric; Nogales, Manuel
Issue Date2016
CitationEl Indiferente 22: 142-153 (2016)
AbstractBiodiversity lost on island ecosystems is still increasing, mainly caused by the introduction of exotic species. Cats are one of the worst invasive species being responsible for numerous species extinctions. At least 175 vertebrates (25 reptiles, 123 birds and 27 mammals) have been threatened or were driven to extinction due to cat predation on 120 islands worldwide. A review of 72 cat diet studies showed that cat preyed upon 265 species (69 invertebrates, 2 fishes, 3 amphibians, 34 reptiles, 130 birds and 27 mammals). On the Canary Islands, cat diet revealed the same general pattern than on worldwide islands, where cats feeding mostly on introduced mammals but threatening native species. However, in this archipelago, cat diet varies among islands and habitats, preying on 68 species of which at least 6 are globally or locally threatened. In general, cat diet studies can be poorly informative about cat impact on threatened species because they are too scarce, conducted too late (after species extintion) or with insufficient data gathering. Face to the strong threat of cat predation on native species; cat management (control or eradication) is strongly encouraged. However, such conservation strategies have to be conducted simultaneously to (i) the monitoring of other introducedpredators, and (ii) the increase of public awareness and implication.
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