Feral cat predation on seabirds on Hahajima, the Bonin Islands, Southern Japan
The Bonin Islands are oceanic islands that have never been connected with the Japanese mainland, as such they remained free of terrestrial mammalian carnivores until human settlement began in 1830. Shortly thereafter, however, the domestic cat Felis catus was introduced to the islands by settlers and became feral (Obana 1877). The number of feral cats has increased to the point where they are now considered to have an adverse impact on the native wild birds (Kawakami 2002; Kawakami & Higuchi 2002). On Hahajima, one of the islands of the Bonin group, there are now considered to be more than 100 feral or half-feral cats ranging throughout the island (Kawakami & Higuchi 2002). Kawakami (2000) has already reported that many native birds, especially seabirds, are preyed upon by feral cats, and has speculated that seabirds are frequently targeted because they can not move quickly once they have landed.
Reprinted from Kawakami K, Fujita M (2004) Ornithological Science 3:155–158, with permission of The Ornithological Society of Japan.
KeywordsNative Bird Bonin Island Contour Feather Japanese Mainland Ornithological Society
We wish to thank: Hayato Chiba and Takaya Yasui for their helpful advice. Ako Sukegawa, Minako Murakami, Ryoko Kanzawa and Nanami Kawamura for analysis of samples, Yayoi for field assistance and Seiji Tazawa for providing accommodation during our field study.
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