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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2004 Dec 15;225(12):1871-6.

Use of matrix population models to estimate the efficacy of euthanasia versus trap-neuter-return for management of free-roaming cats.

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1
Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy of trap-neuter-return and trap-euthanatize management strategies for controlling urban free-roaming cat populations by use of matrix population models.

DESIGN:

Prospective study.

SAMPLE POPULATION:

Estimates of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments.

PROCEDURE:

Data from the literature describing the biology of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments were gathered. A matrix population model was developed with a range of high and low survival and fecundity values and all combinations of those values. The response of population growth rate to a range of management actions was assessed with an elasticity analysis.

RESULTS:

All possible combinations of survival and fecundity values of free-roaming cats led to predictions of rapid, exponential population growth. The model predicted effective cat population control by use of annual euthanasia of > or = 50% of the population or by annual neutering of > 75% of the fertile population. Elasticity analyses revealed that the modeled population was most susceptible to control through euthanasia.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Free-roaming cat populations have a high intrinsic growth rate, and euthanasia is estimated to be more effective at reducing cat populations than trap-neuter-return programs.

PMID:
15643836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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