The University of Melbourne
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Too hot to hunt: mechanistic predictions of thermal refuge from cat predation risk - data files

posted on 2022-06-30, 04:31 authored by NATALIE BRISCOENATALIE BRISCOE, Hugh McGregor, David RoshierDavid Roshier, Andrew Carter, BRENDAN WINTLEBRENDAN WINTLE, Michael KearneyMichael Kearney

Data and code to support publication: Briscoe, N.J. McGregor, H. Roshier, D. Carter, A. Wintle, B.A. Kearney, M. R. (2022), Too hot to hunt: mechanistic predictions of thermal refuge from feral cat predation, Conservation Letters,  doi:10.1111/conl.12906  

This data set includes data used to parameterise and test biophysical models of feral cats in Australia. It includes observed microclimate and feral cat activity/behaviour data and biophysical model predictions for two study sites (Arid Recovery, South Australia and Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary, managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy in NSW), as well as examples of continent-wide predictions of feral cat heat stress. 

Data and code are arranged in three zipped folders: = tests of model predictions of microclimate conditions and feral cat activity/behaviour at Arid Recovery and Scotia = example code and output for plotting yearly heat stress and the number of consecutive years of lethal conditions, and comparing this with the distirbuiton of several cat-sensitive species. =  fortran and R files used to compile and run biophysical model of feral cats. The most recent NicheMapR files can be found at along with licensing information. 

Citations for NicheMapR model: 

Kearney, M. R., and W. P. Porter. 2017. NicheMapR - an R package for biophysical modelling: the microclimate model. Ecography 40:664–674. 

Kearney, M.R., Briscoe, N.J., Mathewson, P.D. and Porter, W.P. (2021), NicheMapR – an R package for biophysical modelling: the endotherm model. Ecography, 44: 1595-1605.

Additional details of files and variables in each dataset are provided in the README file.  

Predictions of heat stress for all simulations and sites modelled can be found at:


Feral cat GPS data collected at Scotia are available via Movebank (doi:10.5441/001/1.6m6h9s33), with details outlined in: Roshier DA, Carter A. 2021. Space use and interactions of two introduced mesopredators, European red fox and feral cat, in an arid landscape. Ecosphere. 12(7): e03628. doi:10.1002/ecs2.3628 


National Environmental Science Program

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)

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Practical utility of new classes of species distribution models

Australian Research Council

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