Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Comparison of the Diet of Feral Cats From Rural and Pastoral Western Australia.

GR Martin, LE Twigg and DJ Robinson

Wildlife Research 23(4) 475 - 484
Published: 1996


The stomach contents of 93 cats from rural and pastoral Western Australia were compared using the number and biomass of food items, and by calculating an Index of Relative Importance for each food category. Species of small native mammals (e.g. dasyurids, rodents) and geckos were significantly (P < 0.03) more prevalent in the diet of pastoral cats, and rural cats consumed greater (P < 0.03) quantities of introduced rodents and rabbits. Several other groups of native animals (e.g. snakes, skinks, agamids) were also more prevalent in the stomachs of pastoral cats (P < 0.10). Birds and orthopterans were important food items to cats from both habitats. There was reasonable dietary overlap (mean = 0.71) between the cats from both habitats, but the dietary breadth of the pastoral cats (mean = 0.44) was two-fold greater than that of the rural cats (mean = 0.21). These findings are compared with previous studies, and are discussed with respect to possible implications for future management strategies for feral cats.


© CSIRO 1996

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