Feral Cats


I. Title

Abundance and Distribution of Felis catus on The University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Campus

II. Project description

To determine and represent the current abundance and home range of F. catus communities at the University of Hawaii. The hope is to spread awareness around the academic community and demonstrate the need for an implemented species management plan on campus.

III. Problem statement

Feral cats cause detrimental effects to native Hawaiian ecosystems and also cause a hazard to public human health. The cats carry diseases and prey on native Hawaiian birds. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services and other federal conservation agencies are working to find a solution to the growing epidemic. The Hawaiian Human Society is promoting catch and release measures to spay and neuter the cats to control populations. However, there is a lack of awareness throughout the Mānoa community on the hazards caused by these animals. Many local support groups fight to protect the cats and there have been protests in the past. The students this semester will be working to educate the community on this controversial issue.

IV. Purpose, goals and objectives

The goal of the project is to promote campus-wide awareness on the severity of the feral cat populations in Mānoa and on O‘ahu in general. They will use the university as a primary example to present on the issue. Overall, the students on the project will be discouraging the unmonitored cat feedings that occur on campus by both students and staff members. Ultimately, the students will educate the academic community on the ecological consequences of growing F. catus populations and inspire government officials to look toward local regulations and strategic planning on the issue.

V. Methods and procedures

Study and analyze Hawaii DLNR archives.

Conduct dispersal surveys and calculate species abundance on 4-6 regulated zones.

Monitor and record common activity of Felis catus around campus with HD cameras.

Compile a peer-reviewed paper on the results and significant findings. Create a tentative species management plan for the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

IX. Names and contact info of sponsor and group members

Micheal Johnson, Department of Anthropology and Zoology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Project advisor: Norma Creps, Wildlife Biologist at the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Instructor John Cusick, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Interdisciplinary Studies 489, Environmental Practicum

X. References (includes literature and people)

Danner, M et al., 2010. Survival of Feral Cats, Felis catus (Carnivora: Felidae), on Mauna

Kea,    Hawaii, Based on Tooth Cementum Lines. Pacific Science, 64, 381-389.

Lohr, C et al., 2012. Costs and Benefits of Trap-Neuter-Release and Euthanasia for

REmoval of Urban Cats in Oahu, Hawaii. Conservation Biology (In press).

Nogales, M. 2004. A Review of Feral Cat Eradication on Islands. Conservation Biology,

18, 310-319.

Raymond, M. 2007. Evidence of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Leukemia Virus,

and Toxoplasma gondii in Feral Cats on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Wildlife Disease

Association, 43, 315-318.

Williams, T. 2010. Feline Fatales. The National Audubon Society, 32, 215-218.

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. 2012. October 10. “Feral Species”


Presentation Dr. Elizabeth A. Denny. February 2010. “Review of cat ecology and

management strategies in Australia” Institute of Wildlife Research School of Biological

Sciences University of Sydney.


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