24 March 2008

Feral Cats Eat Birds

This letter was published March 23, 2008, in the Public Pulse of the Sunday World-Herald 143(25): 8B.

Rather than having spay and release efforts for feral cats, there should be a hefty bounty that would ensure their complete removal.

These predators eat wild birds, with some researchers saying that billions of our avian friends die each year nationwide.

Birds have many important roles in the environment, whereas cats have become established through carelessness and ignorance.. Those groups and people working to protect cats need to realize how cats cause the unneeded demise of many birds.

Save our wild birds by completely getting rid of the feral cats! And put a bell on your domestic cat if it goes outdoors.

A scientific study showing the impact of feral cats on wild birds.

"...These ratios are sufficiently low that even if individual cats only rarely predated birds, the total predation rate in a region may be sufficiently high to adversely impact bird populations. Moreover, the uniformly high cat densities may result in consistently high predation rates..."

The webpage for an option which is preferable to releasing feral cats back into the environment.

The Effects of Free-ranging Cats on Birds in Wisconsin: Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Issues and Guidelines


Anonymous said...

As passionate as your plea sounds, there simply is no humane way to completely eradicate all feral cats. A "bounty" would only create a bloodbath. Not to mention...there is actually a name for what happens when you completely remove cats from an environment. It's called the vacuum effect. When you eradicate a colony of feral cats, more simply move in to take advantage of the resources and territory you have just opened. Just like birds, cats have ALWAYS lived among humans and before humans existed. Cats cause the "unneeded" demise of birds. Just like birds prey on insects and rodents, it is the natural way of things for cats to prey on birds. A management program such as Trap-Neuter-Release is proven to reduce the numbers of feral cats in an area. Seems to me like bird enthusiasts should be singing the praise of management programs. TAP sounds like a total longshot. There is a reason they call them ferals. It is almost impossible to socialize an adult feral cat to humans. They talk of "Re-abandoning" the cats through TNR as being perhaps a more cruel fate than euthanasia. Last time I did some research, isn't that exactly what bird researchers and santuaries do with birds? If a bird is in trouble, they take it in, care for it, then release it. Is that cruel? Billions of birds die every year due to feral cats? I'm sure thousands of birds die every year because of cars, power lines, buildings, and dogs...but we don't see anyone rallying to get rid of those do we?

Anonymous said...

Cats are wonderful creatures and hunters.And in case the person who wrote this article didnt know,humans slaughter more birds than cats could ever dream of killing.I agree with whoever wrote the comment before me.Also can people be nice and stop saying such mean things about cat people.On other websites there were vicious comments on cat people.
Cats kill birds,thats called nature.If people cant understand that,then thats theyre deal.People can keep their cats inside its good for the cats too.By the way all that junk they say about TNR is lies.It does work, better than killing off the cats does.

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