Ecology of the feral cat, (Felis catus) (L.), in South-Eastern Australia III. Home ranges and population ecology in semi-arid north-west Victoria

This paper reports home range sizes and population ecology of feral cats in a 19 000-ha study area situated in the Victorian Mallee. Movements of six cats were monitored by radio-tracking for 8-21 months. Adults maintained discrete home ranges; areas varied from 3.3 to 9.9 (mean 6.2) km2 for males and from 0.7 to 2.7 (mean 1.7) km2 for females. Rabbit warrens, hollow logs and dense thickets were favoured daytime refuges. Mean daily straight-line distances moved between daytime refuges varied from 0.06 km for a female with juveniles to 1.67 km for an adult male. Relative abundance of cats over four years showed seasonal fluctuations, with summer maxima and winter or spring minima; the calculated mean summer and winter densities were 2.4 and 0.74 cats per km2 respectively. Summer maxima were composed of adults, adolescents and juveniles; winter minima were usually composed only of adults. Mortality, presumably caused by a nutritional stress acting particularly on subadults, maintained the adult population at a relatively stable level.

Author Jones, E. and Coman, B. J.
Year 1982
Secondary title Australian Wildlife Research
Volume 9
Number 3
Pages 409-20
Region VIC