Excellent comment Richard!! Many thanks!
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 ) 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.
> 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:[log in to unmask]> To:
>> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> Sent: Tuesday,
>> January 29, 2013 4:27 PM Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] bbc article on
>> Reading down to very near the end of this alarming-sounding article,
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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:[log in to unmask]>>:
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>>>> SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT
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>>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
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