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VTBIRD  January 2013

VTBIRD January 2013

Subject:

Re: bbc article on cats/birds-wildlife

From:

Martha McClintock <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 30 Jan 2013 05:36:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (247 lines)

In this week's Time magazine, a short "blurb on the Culture page :

4 Things You Don't Have to Worry About This Week:

2. A feline shortage in Vermont.  Almost half of all households in Vermont
own cats - a higher proportion than any other state.


On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM, Richard Harlow <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Excellent comment Richard!! Many thanks!
>
> Richard Harlow
> Arrowhead Lake
> Milton, VT
>
>
> On 1/29/13 9:49 PM, Richard Enser wrote:
>
>> Counterpoint being, yes it is very much a conservation issue, and one
>> that has been studied for some time.  (Here is one article from 1997, I'm
>> sure a quick google search will reveal much more
>> http://web1.cnre.vt.edu/**extension/fiw/wildlife/damage/**Cats.pdf<http://web1.cnre.vt.edu/extension/fiw/wildlife/damage/Cats.pdf> )   The real news in this most recent article from the UK is possibly the
>> higher estimates in numbers of birds and mammals killed, although the US
>> Fish and Wildlife Service has been reporting similar estimates for several
>> years now, using various studies from rural commuities in Wisconsin, etc.
>>   The real problem is not necessarily the yard birds (robins, etc.) being
>> taken.  Rather, urban sprawl which has spawned housing
>> developments/subdivisions within forested areas where the neighborhood cats
>> (and dogs) venture into the woodlands and decimate local bird and small
>> mammal populations, especially ground-nesters like ovenbird, worm-eating
>> warbler, and the like.   This is only one of the consequences of forest
>> fragmentation, and one of the reasons the woods are getting quieter every
>> year.
>>   Maybe you feel comforted in your efforts to prevent cat predation on
>> the birds that visit your feeder, but I really feel obligated to dispute
>> your observations that mice, voles, and other rodents are not wildlife?  I
>> haven't heard that much insensitivity related to the conservation of
>> biodiversity in a long time.  I assume its because you consider these
>> animals to be pests, which leads me to believe that you also favor the use
>> of bug zappers, or condone the shooting of crows, or don't care when your
>> children or grandchildren practice their pellet gun skills on "thriving"
>> robins?
>>   As has been pointed out in another message, and should be apparent to
>> any birder, it is "rodent" populations that sustain those species of hawks
>> and owls that have adapted to our developed world.  Your view that mice and
>> voles are simply "a destructive pain in the ***" suggests to me the
>> overwhelming degree of arrogance exhibited by people who move into the
>> country and expect the local wildlife to accommodate to their presence.
>> Believe it or not, nature/wildlife does not exist just for your personal
>> edification - a sound ecological ethic begins at home.
>>   Rick Enser, Braintree
>>
>> ______________________________**__
>>   From: Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 5:03 PM
>> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] bbc article on cats/birds-wildlife
>>    They do kill more than robins, and it's an awful thing to witness.
>> Point being, it's not actually a conservation issue.  I understand and
>> sympathize with your rage about having your birds caught by neighborhood
>> cats, but that's a different thing.
>>
>> It may be impossible where you live, but I've been able to reduce cat
>> predation of feeder birds to almost nothing by careful selection and
>> placement of my feeders, and by making good lurking spots inaccessible
>> to cats.  My birdbath, for instance, is plastic, though it looks like
>> concrete, and tips over at the drop of a hat, drenching any hopeful cat
>> perp with cold water.  They only try it once, and the birds use it
>> without concern.
>>
>> I have a platform feeder on a pole out in the open, too high for a cat
>> to get onto while keeping its balance well enough to catch anything.
>> The other feeders hang above it, so little seed falls on the ground to
>> attract easy to catch ground-feeding birds.  I have latticework around
>> the bottom of my deck so cats can watch, but they can't dash out and
>> score.  Etc.
>>
>> Jane
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 1/29/2013 4:48 PM, MARIE HEMEON wrote:
>>
>>> Well, I can assure you they kill more than Robins. Also, how many
>>> endangered species of Lagomorph (rabbit) and Rodents are present in
>>> N.A.? More than a few. I have been unable to feed birds in my yard
>>> for more than 10 years now. A past time of mine since earliest
>>> childhood. Why? Because neighbors refuse to keep their cats off MY
>>> property. If I had a dog that did comparable things on their
>>> property, it would be hauled away, rightfully. Yet, I have no
>>> recourse. Own a cat, heck own 50 for all I care, I DON'T WANT A CAT.
>>> KEEP YOURS HOME. It is simple courtesy and a matter of property
>>> rights. Yeah, I know the Constitution. I must be a wacko. Kevin -----
>>> Original Message ----- From: Jane
>>> Stein<mailto:jeshawks@**SHOREHAM.NET <[log in to unmask]>> To:
>>> [log in to unmask]<mailto:VTB**[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>>
>>> Sent: Tuesday,
>>> January 29, 2013 4:27 PM Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] bbc article on
>>> cats/birds-wildlife
>>>
>>>
>>> Reading down to very near the end of this alarming-sounding article,
>>> it
>>>
>>> turns out that what they're calling "wildlife" is rodents-- "mice,
>>> shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits."  No doubt cats kill other
>>> small mammals from time to time, but not enough to have made their
>>> list.
>>>
>>> Maybe they treasure their mice and voles in the U.K. and consider
>>> them wildlife, but I sure don't, I consider them a destructive pain
>>> in the ***.  The only bird species they mention is robins.  All these
>>> species are very far from being decimated. They're thriving.
>>>
>>> When the article says, "the large magnitude of wildlife mortality
>>> caused by cat predation," it sounds scary as heck, but we need to
>>> keep in perspective what they're actually talking about.  I for one
>>> have no problem with a "large magnitude of wildlife mortality" when
>>> it comes to
>>>
>>> rodents.
>>>
>>> We humans and our developments are by far the greatest perpetrator
>>> of wildlife mortality on the planet, and not just mice and voles.
>>>
>>> Jane (Shoreham)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On 1/29/2013 3:50 PM, Lynette Reep wrote:
>>>
>>>> Wow, doing more than wanton habitat destruction ("development") to
>>>> decimate wildlife in the US?  That is amazing.
>>>>
>>>> Lynette Reep
>>>>
>>>> Quoting v_t_frost <[log in to unmask]<mailto:v_**[log in to unmask]<[log in to unmask]>
>>>> >>:
>>>>
>>>>> Accessibility links Skip to content Skip to local navigation
>>>>> Accessibility Help
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> bbc.co.uk navigation News Sport Weather Travel Future Autos TV
>>>>> Radio More… Search term:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> SCIENCE &amp; ENVIRONMENT
>>>>>
>>>>> Home US &amp; Canada Latin America UK Africa Asia Europe
>>>>>
>>>>> Mid-East Business Health Sci/Environment Tech Entertainment
>>>>> Video
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> 29 January 2013 Last updated at 11:25 ETShare this page Email
>>>>> Print 3.7K Share Facebook Twitter
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Cats killing billions of animals in the US By Rebecca
>>>>> MorelleScience reporter, BBC World ServiceFeline friend or feline
>>>>> fiend? Continue reading the main storyRelated Stories Cat
>>>>> parasite 'is killing otters' Cats tagged in bird killing study
>>>>> Time for cats to have curfews?Listen
>>>>>
>>>>> 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 third.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Posted by Veer Frost, Passumpsic
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----- No virus found in this message. Checked by AVG -
>>>> www.avg.com<http://www.avg.**com/ <http://www.avg.com/>> Version:
>>>> 2013.0.2890 / Virus
>>>> Database: 2639/6063 - Release Date: 01/28/13
>>>>
>>>
>>> ----- No virus found in this message. Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>>> Version: 2013.0.2890 / Virus Database: 2639/6063 - Release Date:
>>> 01/28/13
>>>
>>>

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