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      Development of the Mata Hari Judas Queen ( Felis catus)

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          Abstract

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          Predation by introduced feral cats is one of the main drivers of extinction in Australian mammals and they have been implicated in reducing populations of birds, frogs and reptiles. Current control techniques e.g., fencing, baiting, trapping and shooting for the management of cats are costly, labour intensive and fail to eradicate entire populations which allows survivors to re-establish populations. The Mata Hari Judas (MHJ) technique i.e., inducing prolonged oestrus using hormone implants, can enhance the eradication of remnant feral animals after the majority of their population has been killed. The hypotheses tested in this study were that hormone implants could induce prolonged oestrus in queens (adult female cats), and that prolonging oestrus resulted in sustained attractiveness to toms (adult male cats). This study shows that it is possible to induce and prolong oestrus in queens using hormone implants where these queens are attractive to toms. The MHJ queen is a new tool with the potential to enhance detection and thus the control of feral cats in remnant populations.

          Abstract

          Cats ( Felis catus) are significant predators of mammals, birds, frogs and reptiles and are implicated in mammal species extinctions in Australia. Current controls fail to eradicate entire populations allowing survivors to re-establish. The use of the Mata Hari Judas (MHJ) technique, i.e., inducing prolonged oestrus using hormone implants, can enhance the eradication of remnant animals and would greatly improve conservation efforts. The hypotheses tested were that hormone implants could induce prolonged oestrus in queens (adult female cats), and that prolonging oestrus would result in sustained attractiveness to toms (adult male cats). Queens ( n = 14) were randomly allocated to five treatments including a control and four treatments using hormone implants. Queens were observed daily; alone and during indirect contact with a tom for 30 consecutive days. There were significant increases ( p < 0.001) in oestrus duration (19 to 27 days) for entire and ovariohysterectomised queens given Compudose100™ implants (1/8 or 1/4 implant). This study shows that it is possible to induce and prolong oestrus in queens using Compudose100™ implants where these queens are attractive to toms. The MHJ queen is a new tool with the potential to enhance the detection and thus the control of feral cats in remnant populations.

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          Using false discovery rates for multiple comparisons in ecology and evolution

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            From wild animals to domestic pets, an evolutionary view of domestication.

            Artificial selection is the selection of advantageous natural variation for human ends and is the mechanism by which most domestic species evolved. Most domesticates have their origin in one of a few historic centers of domestication as farm animals. Two notable exceptions are cats and dogs. Wolf domestication was initiated late in the Mesolithic when humans were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Those wolves less afraid of humans scavenged nomadic hunting camps and over time developed utility, initially as guards warning of approaching animals or other nomadic bands and soon thereafter as hunters, an attribute tuned by artificial selection. The first domestic cats had limited utility and initiated their domestication among the earliest agricultural Neolithic settlements in the Near East. Wildcat domestication occurred through a self-selective process in which behavioral reproductive isolation evolved as a correlated character of assortative mating coupled to habitat choice for urban environments. Eurasian wildcats initiated domestication and their evolution to companion animals was initially a process of natural, rather than artificial, selection over time driven during their sympatry with forbear wildcats.
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              Bio-Economics of Large-Scale Eradication of Feral Goats From Santiago Island, Galápagos

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Animals (Basel)
                Animals (Basel)
                animals
                Animals : an Open Access Journal from MDPI
                MDPI
                2076-2615
                10 October 2020
                October 2020
                : 10
                : 10
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School of Sciences, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia
                [2 ]School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland Gatton campus, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia; melanie.mills@ 123456uqconnect.edu.au
                [3 ]School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland Gatton campus, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia; natalie.fraser@ 123456uq.edu.au (N.F.); s.kempster@ 123456uq.edu.au (S.K.)
                [4 ]Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre, The University of Queensland, Grandchester QLD 4340, Australia; j.hoy@ 123456uq.edu.au
                Author notes
                [†]

                Current affiliation: 8 Walnut Court, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia.

                Article
                animals-10-01843
                10.3390/ani10101843
                7599923
                33050456
                5c493087-61d5-4cbf-b2fe-159c52987459
                © 2020 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Article

                compudose,oestrus,oestrous,feral cat,judas,mata hari,queen,conservation
                compudose, oestrus, oestrous, feral cat, judas, mata hari, queen, conservation

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