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

By F. M. Medina, M. Nogales, M. J. Farnworth, E. Bonnaud

Category Journal Articles

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.

Publication Title Journal for Nature Conservation
Volume 34
Pages 8-14
ISBN/ISSN 1617-1381
DOI 10.1016/j.jnc.2016.04.006
Language English
Author Address Servicio de Medio Ambiente, Cabildo Insular de La Palma, Avenida Los Indianos 20, 2°, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Biodiversity
  4. Biological resources
  5. Carnivores
  6. Cats
  7. Countries
  8. Developed countries
  9. Ecology
  10. Europe
  11. Feral animals
  12. Habitats
  13. Humans
  14. Introduction
  15. Invasive species
  16. Mammals
  17. Mediterranean region
  18. Men
  19. natural enemies
  20. OECD countries
  21. Pests.
  22. Pets and companion animals
  23. predation
  24. predators
  25. Primates
  26. Psychiatry and psychology
  27. Relationships
  28. social anthropology
  29. Social psychology and social anthropology
  30. Spain
  31. sterilization
  32. stray animals
  33. surgery
  34. surveys
  35. vertebrates
  36. Veterinary sciences
  37. Veterinary surgery
  38. Wild animals
  39. wildlife conservation
  40. wildlife management
  41. Zoology