Domestic cat (Felis catus) preys reported by volunteers within the project Feral Cats

Latest version published by Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) on Nov 8, 2023 Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC)

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Data as a DwC-A file download 427 records in English (53 KB) - Update frequency: not planned
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Observations of captures and/or predation events performed by domestic cats (Felis catus) reported through the questionnaire set up for this purpose in the framework of the project Feral Cats - WP4 SUMHAL or through the online platform Most of the events are prey brought home by cats and reported by their owners with associated images that have been used to identify the prey to the most specific taxonomic level possible. These images can be found at Digital CSIC or linked to the observation uploaded to The goal of this dataset is to explore the diversity of species that free-roaming domestic cats hunt and to assess which species or animal groups predominate in their catches.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 427 records.

2 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Sanglas A, Palomares F (2023). Domestic cat (Felis catus) preys reported by volunteers within the project Feral Cats. Version 1.5. Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC). Occurrence dataset.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: dad0392e-2b02-4b2e-996a-32bb047a73df.  Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Spain.


Domestic cat; Felis catus; free-roaming cat; predation; citizen science; prey brought home; captures; occurrence; Occurrence; Observation


Ariadna Sanglas
  • Content Provider
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Research assistant
Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC
Avda. Américo Vespucio 26
41092 Sevilla
Francisco Palomares
  • Content Provider
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Principal investigator
Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC
Avda. Américo Vespucio 26
41092 Sevilla

Geographic Coverage

Reports of preys brought home and other opportunistic predation events coming from unknown free-ranging cats were kept only when they came from Spanish peninsular locations in order to follow the aims of SUMHAL.

Bounding Coordinates South West [35.96, -9.536], North East [43.835, 3.516]

Taxonomic Coverage

No Description available

Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Chiroptera, Passeriformes, Rodentia
Family Cricetidae, Fringillidae, Muridae, Soricidae
Genus Apodemus, Apus, Columba, Crocidura, Microtus, Mus, Pipistrellus, Plecotus, Podarcis, Rattus, Turdus
Species Anacridium aegyptium, Anguis fragilis, Apodemus sylvaticus, Apus apus, Arvicola amphibius, Atelerix algirus, Carduelis carduelis, Cecropis daurica, Chalcides bedriagai, Chalcides striatus, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, Chloris chloris, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Columba livia, Columba palumbus, Crocidura russula, Cyanistes caeruleus, Delichon urbicum, Dendrocopos major, Eliomys quercinus, Emberiza cirlus, Epidalea calamita, Erithacus rubecula, Ficedula hypoleuca, Fringilia coelebs, Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Ixobrychus minutus, Jynx torquilla, Lacerta schreiberi, Linaria cannabina, Macroprotodon brevis, Macroprotodon cucullatus, Malpolon monspessulanus, Microtus arvalis, Microtus duodecimcostatus, Microtus lusitanicus, Mus musculus, Mus spretus, Mustela nivalis, Natrix maura, Oryctolagus cuniculus, Papilio machaon, Parus major, Passer domesticus, Passer hispanolensis, Passer montanus, Pelophylax perezi, Periparus ater, Phoenicurus ochruros, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Phylloscopus collybita, Pica pica, Pieris brassicae, Podarcis bocagei, Podarcis liolepis, Podarcis muralis, Podarcis vaucheri, Prunella modularis, Psammodromus algirus, Psammodromus occidentalis, Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus, Rhinechis scalaris, Sciurus vulgaris, Serinus serinus, Sorex coronatus, Streptopelia decaocto, Sturnus unicolor, Sturnus vulgaris, Suncus etruscus, Sylvia atricapilla, Sylvia melanocephala, Talpa occidentalis, Tarentola mauritanica, Timon lepidus, Troglodytes troglodytes, Turdus merula, Turdus philomelos, Vanessa atalanta

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2015-08-26 / 2023-06-15

Project Data

The project SUMHAL aims at implementing a strategy for biodiversity conservation in the western Mediterranean hotspot by setting a technologically efficient and scientifically robust system. The project combines fieldwork and virtual research environments for the recording, storing, analysis, and dissemination of the conservation status and threats of biodiversity in Andalusia (Southern Spain). The general aim of WP4 is to raise awareness of the ecological and socio-economic impacts of the three main human-induced drivers of global change: a) biological invasions; b) land-use changes; and c) food subsidies, that are of great global concern and therefore relevant not only to Andalusian and Spanish ecosystems and societies, but also to Europe as a whole. SUMHAL's WP4 aims to use traditional and other novel methodologies, mainly of remote animal monitoring, in addition to the participation of society to monitor ecological and socio-economic impacts at different spatial scales.

Title Sustainability for Mediterranean Hotspots in Andalusia integrating LifeWatch ERIC (SUMHAL). Work package 4 (WP4): Combining field data, citizen science and loT to monitor anthropogenic impacts on Andalusian biodiversity and society
Identifier LIFEWATCH-2019-09-CSIC-4, POPE 2014-2020
Funding This study was funded by MICINN through European Regional Development Fund [SUMHAL, LIFEWATCH-2019-09-CSIC-04, POPE 2014-2020]
Study Area Description SUMHAL focuses in Andalusia (Southern Spain), as a representation of the western Mediterranean ecosystems. However, each subproject that belongs to WP4 has its own study area. In this case, WP4 - Feral Cats has taken advantage of citizen science in order to collect as many predation events as possible from any part of Peninsular Spain to study the predation impact of free-ranging domestic on the continent.

The personnel involved in the project:

Francisco Palomares

Sampling Methods

A citizen science questionnaire was created in the framework of Feral Cats project in order to collect data on prey captured by domestic cats. The project and a link to the questionnaire were advertised several times through online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), mailing lists and Whatsapp groups and contacts. Volunteers were asked to attach/upload pictures or videos about prey brought home by their own cats or to report occasional predation events performed by unowned cats such as cats living in a colony (either managed or not) or cats with unknown origin. The questionnaire was launched in autumn 2021 and kept open until the end of summer 2023. In addition, and taking advantage of the fact that the website allows uploading species observations with the tag "captured by cat", the project was also shared and advertised through its newsletter. Despite the promotion of Feral Cats project, already had predation events dated prior to the start of our project which were included in this database due to convergence with the project's aim. The query to download data with the "capture by cat" tag was made in 24th May 2023, so any predation event reported after this date will not appear in this database.

Study Extent Reports of prey brought home and other occasional events were kept only when they came from Spanish peninsular locations in order to follow the aims of SUMHAL.
Quality Control For predation events reported through the Feral Cats questionnaire: Fake pictures or non-related pictures such as playing kittens, pictures with no apparent prey on it or people selfies, were discarded as valid predation events. Valid events from other countries or Spanish regions outside Iberian Peninsula, were also discarded for not being of interest for the project. In addition, those events reporting species whose distributions are not present in Spain, were also discarded. Remaining pictures were identified to the most specific taxonomic level possible by experts. For predation events reported through, the validation status provided by the platform was used. Any reported event tagged as accepted (either "with evidence ", "by admin" or "automatic validation") was left unchanged. Those observations tagged as "unknown" that had not been yet validated on the date the data was downloaded from the platform, were checked by an expert and the species taxon or level changed when appropriate. Unfortunately, those changes could not be translated into changes in the original observation due to a lack of permissions in

Method step description:

  1. Events coming from Feral Cats questionnaire were divided based on the type of cat the capture/predation event was from. Entries were separated in "owned", "colony" and "unknown". People selecting "owned" were asked the cat age, sex and sexual condition (neutered/spayed) of their pets. This information is missing in those events coming from since the platform has its own structure to introduce the information of the observations. In terms of event coordinates, events have more accurate coordinates, since the platform has an interactive map that allows you to select the exact point where the event has occurred. Volunteers who reported predation events through the Feral Cats questionnaire were asked to indicate the postal code instead of coordinates to make the procedure easier for them. Once the data from the questionnaire was downloaded, postal code was used to extract the centroid coordinates of its associated municipality, meaning that the species reported is present within the municipality borders but not necessarily where the centroid coordinates indicate.

Additional Metadata

Purpose The goal was to study the diversity of species that free-ranging domestic cats might be preying on.
Maintenance Description This dataset is closed and will not be updated, unless errors or issues are reported by users.
Alternative Identifiers 10.15470/odgx00