Human-cat relationship in an oceanic biosphere reserve: the case of La Palma Island, Canary archipelago

Medina, F.M., Nogales, M., Farnworth, M.J. ORCID: 0000-0001-6226-0818 and Bonnaud, E., 2016. Human-cat relationship in an oceanic biosphere reserve: the case of La Palma Island, Canary archipelago. Journal for Nature Conservation, 34, pp. 8-14. ISSN 1617-1381

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Removal of feral cats from island environments is a useful mechanism by which their ecological impact on endangered species can be reduced or ended. Nevertheless, because cats are anthropogenic in their origins, social perceptions of management practices play a large role in their implementation. Four-hundred questionnaires were delivered (386 were returned) with 100 going to each of the following: local residents; environmental workers; tourists; and, hunters. Questions explored respondents’ knowledge about island biodiversity and invasive species as well as attitudes towards cat population management methods. Habitat destruction and introduction of invasive species were considered the main threats for the conservation of island biodiversity. Most respondents considered cats to have a negative impact on biodiversity and sterilization campaigns were considered most appropriate for cat population control. Several free sterilization campaigns have been conducted in La Palma Island Biosphere Reserve in order to reduce free-ranging cats and were well received by local people. This research, which combined concepts of management, ecology and social sciences, provides valuable insights which may to be applicable on several other islands where cats and people are present and in conflict with conservation priorities.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal for Nature Conservation
Creators: Medina, F.M., Nogales, M., Farnworth, M.J. and Bonnaud, E.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: December 2016
Volume: 34
ISSN: 1617-1381
S1617138116300279Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 26 Feb 2018 15:17
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 15:19

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