A great part of the Earth's biodiversity occurs on islands, to which humans have brought a legion of invasive species that have caused population declines and even extinctions. The domestic cat is one of the most damaging species introduced to islands, being a primary extinction driver for at least 33 insular endemic vertebrates. Here, we examine the role of feral cats in the context of the island biodiversity crisis, by combining data from reviews of trophic studies, species conservation status reports, and eradication campaigns. The integration of these reviews permits us to identify priority islands where feral cat eradications are likely to be feasible and where cats are predicted to cause the next vertebrate extinctions. Funding agencies and global conservation organizations can use these results to prioritize scarce conservation funds, and national and regional natural resource management agencies can rank their islands in need of feral cat eradication within a global context.
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Vol. 63 • No. 10