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Drivers of domestic cat movement in Scotland
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Free-roaming domestic cats are an increasing concern for biodiversity conservation. Cats prey on wildlife, spread disease and breed with native wildcat species leading to hybridisation. It is therefore useful to know what factors influence the movement of domestic cats. There is a particular concern in Scotland where hybridisation between domestic cats and the highly endangered Scottish wildcat is prevalent. This study placed GPS collars on ten domestic cats in and around a Scottish wildcat priority area. The home ranges and core areas for each cat were calculated and various explanatory variables were tested. There was a large variation in cat home ranges, from 0.22 – 17.5 hectares. Trends were observed that males roamed further than females, older cats roamed less than younger cats, rural cats roamed further than urban cats and cats roamed further at night than during the day. There was no definitive evidence of habitat selection, though three cats appeared to prefer arable land over coniferous forest. Weather conditions of temperature and rainfall did not have an impact on cat movement. However, snow cover did reduce the home range by 94.5%, although snow was only present when one cat was collared. The results suggest restricting cat ownership or imposing a night time curfew in ecologically sensitive areas, with a minimum buffer zone of 300 m, could be beneficial to reduce the negative impact of domestic cats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
Domestic cat, movement, Scotland, Scottish wildcat, conservation, GPS
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396224OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396224DiVA, id: diva2:1366996
External cooperation
University of Exeter
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-07 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-11-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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