Feral and free-ranging domestic cats: position statement of The Wildlife Society

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Journal/Book Title

The Wildlifer

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First Page



Free and free-ranging domestic cats are exotic species to North America. Exotic species are recognized as one of the most widespread and serious threats to the integrity of native wildlife populations and natural ecosystems. Exotic species present special challenges for wildlife managers because their negative impacts are poorly understood by the general public, many exotic species have become such an accepted component of the enviromnent that many people regard them as "natural," some exotic species have advocacy groups that promote their continued presence, and few policies and laws deal directly with their control. Perhaps no issue has captured more of the challenges for contemporary wildlife management than the impacts of feral or free-ranging human companion or domestic animals. The domestic cat is the companion animal that recently has attracted the most attention for its impact on wildlife species.

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