Kathryn Strang

Doctor of Philosophy, (Wildlife & Ecology)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The ecology of feral cats (Felis catus) on a New Zealand offshore island: Considerations for management

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Feral cats have had devastating impacts on native fauna worldwide, as well as in New Zealand, however, their control is secondary to other pests. Ms Strang researched the ecology of feral cats on Ponui Island to inform management plans. She found that reductions in population density can lead to an increase in home range size, that cats visited traps mostly at midnight and their activity was accurately described using camera traps. While females produced many kittens, there was high juvenile mortality, and the island population was genetically isolated and could be successfully eradicated with low chances of reinvasion. Furthermore, she found that although feral cats preyed upon rats, they also targeted native fauna such as kiwi and kereru. Her research can be used by managers to develop efficient control for feral cats.

Professor Isabel Castro
Professor Murray Potter
Associate Professor Nick Cave