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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The impact of cats and foxes on the small vertebrate fauna of Heirisson Prong, Western Australia. II. A field experiment

Published source details

Risbey D.A., Calver M.C., Short J., Bradley J.S. & Wright I.W. (2000) The impact of cats and foxes on the small vertebrate fauna of Heirisson Prong, Western Australia. II. A field experiment. Wildlife Research, 27, 223-235


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove/control non-native mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after, controlled study in 1990–1994 in three sites in Western Australia, Australia (Risbey et al. 2000) found that where both cats Felis catus and foxes Vulpes vulpes were controlled, captures of small mammals increased but where only foxes were controlled, they decreased. Combined fox and cat control doubled small mammal abundances (after: 93; before: 42 individuals captured), but counts fell by 80% where only foxes were controlled (after: 7; before: 55 individuals captured). Small mammal abundances remained similar where no predators were controlled. See original paper for full results. In 1991, a mainland peninsula was divided in three areas in which 1) both cats and foxes were controlled by using an electrified fence, poison baiting (dried meat or cat food with 4.5 mg 1080 poison or via secondary poisoning by poisoning rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus), and trapping or shooting (12 km2), 2) foxes were controlled by baiting (120-200 km2) but cats were not targeted or 3) no control occurred. Predators were surveyed over 3-4 nights in vehicles using spotlights (transect length: 7.5-20 km). Small mammals were monitored with six pitfall-trap grids in each area. Each grid had eight pitfall traps, 30–50 m apart. Sampling was conducted over three consecutive days in March–April and June–July in 1990–1994 in predator control areas and 1992–1994 in the area without predator control.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)