Identifying People's Most Preferred Management Technique for Feral Cats in Hawaii
Feral cats (Felis catus) are abundant in many parts of the world and pose a threat to native wildlife. Human-wildlife conflicts regarding how feral cats should be managed have increased recently. In Hawaii, previous research has revealed that most residents would like to see the feral cat abundance reduced, but opinions differ regarding which techniques are acceptable for achieving this. This paper describes an analytical hierarchy process that combines rankings of decision criteria by Hawaii's
... residents with expert knowledge of the costs and benefits associated with 7 techniques (live-capture and adoption, live-capture and lethal injection, live-capture and lethal gunshot, trap-neuter-release [TNR]), lethal traps, predatorproof fence, and sharpshooter) for reducing feral cat abundance. We used a state-wide survey with 1,369 respondents and in-person surveys with 11 wildlife professionals to gather data for the model. Inconsistency values were below 0.1 for data from both the state-wide survey and the survey of wildlife professionals. Sensitivity analysis revealed that the model was not sensitive to changes in the public's ranking of the decision criteria, because when data were averaged all decision criteria became equally important. The final ranking of the management techniques was dominated by the costs and benefits of each technique. Lethal traps were ranked as the best technique, and TNR was ranked as the worst technique.