Action: Remove/control non-native mammals within a fenced area
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One study evaluated the effects on native mammals of removing or controlling non-native mammals within a fenced area. This study was in Australia.
COMMUNITY RESPONSE (1 STUDY)
- Richness/diversity (1 study): A site comparison study in Australia found that in a fenced area where invasive cats, red foxes and European rabbits were removed, native mammal species richness was higher than outside the fenced area.
POPULATION RESPONSE (1 STUDY)
- Abundance (1 study): A site comparison study in Australia found that in a fenced area where invasive cats, red foxes and European rabbits were removed, native mammals overall and two out of four small mammal species were more abundant than outside the fenced area.
BEHAVIOUR (0 STUDIES)
Control of non-native mammals may be carried out to reverse detrimental impacts of such species on native plants and animals. Total elimination of non-native mammals may be difficult or impossible to carry out on a large scale, with control programmes often being confined to small islands, where elimination may be achievable. However, away from islands, a similar benefit might be realised if non-native mammals can be removed from within an area that is fenced to prevent their recolonization.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A site comparison study in 1997–2005 in a dune and shrubland site in South Australia, Australia (Moseby et al. 2009) found that in a fenced area where invasive cats Felis catus, red foxes Vulpes vulpes and European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus were removed, native mammal species richness and abundance, and abundance of two out of four small mammal species, were greater than outside the fenced area. Two to six years after the removal of cats, foxes and rabbits began, native mammal species richness and overall abundance was higher inside than outside the fenced removal area (data presented on log scales). Also, more spinifex hopping mice Notomys alexis and Bolam’s mice Pseudomys bolami were caught in removal areas (spinifex: 13-51; Bolam’s: 5-38) than in non-removal areas (spinifex: 3-4; Bolam’s: 1-2). Numbers caught did not significantly differ in removal vs non-removal areas for fat-tailed dunnart Sminthopsis crassicaudata (0.3 vs 0.8) and stripe-faced dunnart Sminthopsis macroura (0.3-2.8 vs 1.1). Between 1997 and 2005, a 78-km2 exclosure was established in five stages, inside which rabbits, cats and foxes were removed from 1999. Locally extinct mammals were reintroduced into the first area (14-km2) in 1999-2001. Twelve locations inside the exclosure and 12 outside (60-7,000-km apart) were sampled over four nights annually, in 1998–2005, using a line of six pitfall traps and 15 Elliott live traps.