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Open AccessArticle

Development of the Mata Hari Judas Queen (Felis catus)

1
School of Sciences, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia
2
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland Gatton campus, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia
3
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland Gatton campus, Gatton QLD 4343, Australia
4
Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre, The University of Queensland, Grandchester QLD 4340, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current affiliation: 8 Walnut Court, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101843
Received: 10 September 2020 / Revised: 25 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 10 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
Predation by introduced feral cats is one of the main drivers of extinction in Australian mammals and they have been implicated in reducing populations of birds, frogs and reptiles. Current control techniques e.g., fencing, baiting, trapping and shooting for the management of cats are costly, labour intensive and fail to eradicate entire populations which allows survivors to re-establish populations. The Mata Hari Judas (MHJ) technique i.e., inducing prolonged oestrus using hormone implants, can enhance the eradication of remnant feral animals after the majority of their population has been killed. The hypotheses tested in this study were that hormone implants could induce prolonged oestrus in queens (adult female cats), and that prolonging oestrus resulted in sustained attractiveness to toms (adult male cats). This study shows that it is possible to induce and prolong oestrus in queens using hormone implants where these queens are attractive to toms. The MHJ queen is a new tool with the potential to enhance detection and thus the control of feral cats in remnant populations.
Cats (Felis catus) are significant predators of mammals, birds, frogs and reptiles and are implicated in mammal species extinctions in Australia. Current controls fail to eradicate entire populations allowing survivors to re-establish. The use of the Mata Hari Judas (MHJ) technique, i.e., inducing prolonged oestrus using hormone implants, can enhance the eradication of remnant animals and would greatly improve conservation efforts. The hypotheses tested were that hormone implants could induce prolonged oestrus in queens (adult female cats), and that prolonging oestrus would result in sustained attractiveness to toms (adult male cats). Queens (n = 14) were randomly allocated to five treatments including a control and four treatments using hormone implants. Queens were observed daily; alone and during indirect contact with a tom for 30 consecutive days. There were significant increases (p < 0.001) in oestrus duration (19 to 27 days) for entire and ovariohysterectomised queens given Compudose100™ implants (1/8 or 1/4 implant). This study shows that it is possible to induce and prolong oestrus in queens using Compudose100™ implants where these queens are attractive to toms. The MHJ queen is a new tool with the potential to enhance the detection and thus the control of feral cats in remnant populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: compudose; oestrus; oestrous; feral cat; Judas; Mata Hari; queen; conservation compudose; oestrus; oestrous; feral cat; Judas; Mata Hari; queen; conservation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Murray, P.J.; Rogie, M.; Fraser, N.; Hoy, J.; Kempster, S. Development of the Mata Hari Judas Queen (Felis catus). Animals 2020, 10, 1843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101843

AMA Style

Murray PJ, Rogie M, Fraser N, Hoy J, Kempster S. Development of the Mata Hari Judas Queen (Felis catus). Animals. 2020; 10(10):1843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101843

Chicago/Turabian Style

Murray, Peter J.; Rogie, Melanie; Fraser, Natalie; Hoy, Julia; Kempster, Samantha. 2020. "Development of the Mata Hari Judas Queen (Felis catus)" Animals 10, no. 10: 1843. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101843

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