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Spatio-temporal dynamics of an introduced predator on a sub-antartic island : toward the example of the feral cat (Felis silvestric catus) on the grand Terre Island of the Kerguelen Archipelago

Abstract : Sub-Antarctic ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to environmental perturbations including biological invasions. The introduction of the feral cat (Felis silvestris catus) on the Grande TerreIsland of the Kerguelen archipelago has lead to detrimental effects on seabird's communities. Cat survival in this environment is possible because of the presence of the introduced rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), which constitute the main prey of the cat during winter when most seabirds are offshore. Cat eradication is not a realistic solution given the size and inaccessibility of the island (6675 km2). Moreover it can lead to unwanted results such as the demographic explosion of rabbit populations. The design of appropriate management policy needs to improve our understanding of the factors that influence the spatio-temporal dynamics of cat populations. In this thesis, I explored the mechanisms of cat-rabbit-vegetation interactions, as they are expected to determine interactions existing between cats and seabirds. I analyzed the spatio-temporal dynamics of four cat populations on Grande Terre Island and I especially sought whether environmental conditions spatially correlated (Moran effect) could synchronize cat through their effect on the trophic web pathways. Finally, I studied the impact of spatio-temporal
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Hugues Santin-Janin. Spatio-temporal dynamics of an introduced predator on a sub-antartic island : toward the example of the feral cat (Felis silvestric catus) on the grand Terre Island of the Kerguelen Archipelago. Agricultural sciences. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010LYO10348⟩. ⟨tel-00811532⟩

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