Our indoor cat recently caught and killed an ermine inside our 1820 House. He does a job on mice, too.
Marcia in Brownsville
From: v_t_frost <[log in to unmask]>
To: VTBIRD <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 1:53 pm
Subject: [VTBIRD] bbc article on cats/birds-wildlife
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SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT
US & Canada
29 January 2013 Last updated at 11:25 ETShare this page
Cats killing billions of animals in the US
By Rebecca MorelleScience reporter, BBC World ServiceFeline friend or feline
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Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each
year, a study suggests.
The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7
billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.
Writing in Nature Communications, the scientists said stray and feral cats were
the worst offenders.
However, they added that pet cats also played a role and that owners should do
more to reduce their impact.
The authors concluded that more animals are dying at the claws of cats in the
United States than in road accidents, collisions with buildings or poisonings.
The domestic cat's killer instinct of has been well documented on many islands
around the world.
Felines accompanying their human companions have gone on to decimate local
wildlife, and they have been blamed for the global extinction of 33 species.
But their impact on mainland areas has been harder to chart.
To find out more, researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology
Institute (SCBI) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service carried out a review of
studies that had previously looked at the predatory prowess of cats.
Continue reading the main story“Start Quote
Our study suggests that they are the top threat to US wildlife”
Dr Pete MarraSCBI
Their analysis revealed that the cat killings were much higher than previous
studies had suggested: they found that they had killed more than four times as
many birds as has been previously estimated.
Birds native to the US, such as the American Robin, were most at risk, and mice,
shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits were the mammals most likely to be killed.
Dr Pete Marra from the SCBI said: "Our study suggests that they are the top
threat to US wildlife."
The team said that "un-owned" cats, which they classified as strays, feral cats
and farm cats, were killing about three times as many animals as pet cats, but
that their owners could do more to limit the impact.
Dr Marra said: "We hope that the large amount of wildlife mortality indicated by
our research convinces some cat owners to keep their cats indoors and that it
alerts policymakers, wildlife managers and scientists to the large magnitude of
wildlife mortality caused by cat predation."
A spokeswoman for the UK's animal welfare charity the RSPCA said that a properly
fitted collar and bell could reduce a cat's success when hunting by at least a
Posted by Veer Frost, Passumpsic