Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors
Free-roaming cats have a devastating impact on wildlife populations with stray/feral cats being the most problematic. In some areas, community members provide these cats with food, water, and shelter often in conjunction with a trap, neuter, return (TNR) program. Hayden Island located north of Portland, Oregon is home to a managed colony of feral and stray cats. Some island residents provide feeding stations for the cats and actively participate in population management. To determine how feeding stations might affect cat spatial distribution, camera traps were placed at 19 different stations in urban and natural areas on Hayden island. Additional annual road cat count data was used to compare cat density relative to feeding stations utilizing ArcGIS. When individual cat locations were overlapped with the heat map for feeding stations, greater cat densities in proximity to feeding stations were observed. These results were supported by a density analysis of cats and feeding stations as well as the camera trap results as only a single cat was photographed in the natural area. We documented that a reliable food source was connected to a higher density of cats in urban areas with less wildlife value and where they can be more easily monitored.
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Helback, Olivia and Liebezeit, Joe, "Density of Free-Roaming Cats Related to Feeding Stations on Hayden Island" (2021). University Honors Theses. Paper 981.