US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Pacific Conservation Biology 14 (2008) 177-184.


Feral cats Felis catus in dry subalpine woodland of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i, live in low density and exhibit some of the largest reported home ranges in the literature. While 95% fixed kernel home range estimates for three females averaged 772 ha, four males averaged 1 418 ha, and one male maintained a home range of 2 050 ha. Mean daily movement rates between sexes overlapped widely and did not differ significantly (P = 0.083). Log-transformed 95% kernel home ranges for males were significantly larger than those of females (P = 0.024), but 25% kernel home ranges for females were larger than those of males (P = 0.017). Moreover, log-transformed home ranges of males were also significantly larger than those of females in this and seven other studies from the Pacific region (P = 0.044). Feral cats present a major threat to endangered Hawaiian birds, but knowledge of their ecology can be used for management by optimizing trap spacing and creating buffer zones around conservation areas.