dan blumstein in science: fear the cats! bold project teaches endangered australian animals to avoid deadly predator

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Dan Blumstein in Science: Fear the cats! Bold project teaches endangered Australian animals to avoid deadly predator

For nearly 5 years, Katherine Moseby, Michael Letnic at UNSW and Daniel Blumstein at the University of California, Los Angeles, have been placing bilbies and another threatened species into large fenced plots together with their feline enemies in hopes that, faced with extreme selective pressure, some individuals will learn or adapt to avoid attacks. Results published today suggest the “vaccination” approach has promise: Bilbies exposed to cats in a controlled setting were more likely to survive later, when they were released among feral cats, than those that hadn’t been exposed, they report in the Journal of Applied Ecology.