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Let us not forget, feral cats come from people letting their cats out, even if it was generations ago. Cats are not native to North or South America.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jane Stein<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2013 6:44 PM
  Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] birds and cats


  Just a point of clarification on Zeke's terrific field research study-- 
  he's talking about a city with an enormous feral cat population, 
  somewhat like Rome.

  Jane



  On 1/31/2013 6:22 PM, Ezekiel S. Jakub wrote:
  > Hi All,
  >
  > I also made this reply to Jane off list and will share with the rest
  > of the group. I am currently doing research in Urban Panama City,
  > Central America ... specifically "The viability of urban conservation
  > in Tropical Cities". We are looking at both migratory and residential
  > birds ... what types of habitat they use, diversity, and of course
  > vegetative index. We are correlating also the survivability rates of
  > some nestling species ... because our feral cat populations are so
  > large. \
  >
  > Of course as a scientist I cannot speak to all points made by either
  > Jane or others about ca and wildlife. But I can say a few things with
  > data to back it up and data that is statistically significant
  > (collected in our work)
  >
  > 1. In urban environments in Panama ... there are more species
  > utilizing the urban matrix than most might think. We have recorded
  > over 100 species within the boundary of Panama City ... of which most
  > are residential but some are migratory.
  >
  > 2. Habitat loss in the city is severe and bird species have been
  > delegated to utilize non-native habitat (which is immensely patchy)
  > but have utilized it successfully
  >
  > 3. Fledgling survival rates of many species we have looked at are
  > almost null. The main culprit we have identified are urban feral cat
  > populations. Adult ground nesting birds seem to survive cat attacks
  > fairly well ... fledglings do not. I have seen with 2 years of data
  > almost a 78% death rate in certain species survival rates within
  > Panama City and throughout multiple habitat types.
  >
  > 4. The only course of action that we have deemed appropriate to
  > control massive kills has been straight culls of the cat population.
  >
  > 5. There is plenty of research throughout Latin America that speaks
  > directly to feral cat populations in both urban and rural areas and
  > the effect on native.migratory bird populations ... just look via
  > your local library at peer reviewed research ... its abundant.
  >
  > 6. As per the argument of habitat loss. I cannot disagree with Jane
  > and especially in the tropics, that this is not significant. I would
  > also like to point out what others have said or eluded to: We, as
  > bird conservationists, must strive at conserving native/migratory
  > bird populations in every way we can which is CLEARLY a multilateral
  > dynamic approach.
  >
  > SIDE NOTE: As a dog owner myself and a pet lover I can empathize with
  > the "cat lobby". I do think that you should have the option to
  > responsibly have outdoor time for your cat. In my field though, a
  > unsupervised cat, let loose into the "wilds" (albeit rural or urban)
  > is indeed a disaster for local birdlife (in my case I can speak with
  > authority to this). The problem here is responsibility in the U.S.
  > and in my neck of the woods (Panama) ... simply overwhelming numbers
  > of feral cat populations are destructive. As a cat owner ... I would
  > suggest limited exposure to the out-of-doors, in a fenced backyard
  > where you as the owner can try and control as much of that cats
  > affect on local wildlife as possible. That is your responsibility as
  > a pet owner. Otherwise ... in Panama ... the cats programs that have
  > initiated are 100% cull.
  >
  > Questions and comments welcome,
  >
  > Ezekiel S. Jakub (Zeke) Resource Management and Conservation,
  > Avian/Tropical Conservación de Aves Tropicales (Panamá) U.S. Ph:
  > (413)773-7906 Panama Cell Ph: (507) 649-40106 Panama Home Ph: (507)
  > 221-9941 [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
  >
  > On Jan 31, 2013, at 5:31 PM, Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
  > wrote:
  >
  >> Thomas, given the really impressive background you just spelled
  >> out, I wonder if you might explain something in your previous post
  >> that disturbed me and some other readers far more than throwing
  >> stuff at intruding cats, and that's your method of choice for
  >> killing mice, glue traps and drowning.
  >>
  >> I assume there's a reason you do it this way.  I've struggled
  >> against the necessity of killing mice and found no way around it,
  >> but I settled on snap traps because they kill quickly and
  >> reasonably humanely.  Are those impractical for you in some way?
  >>
  >> Thanks,
  >>
  >> Jane
  >>
  >>
  >>
  >>
  >> On 1/31/2013 8:01 AM, Thomas Berriman wrote:
  >>> "Let's not forget that cats are only doing what comes naturally.
  >>> To talk of "eliminating" them or "run them down on foot picking
  >>> up rocks and throwing the whole time" is not only cruel and
  >>> inhumane, but illegal!"
  >>>
  >>>
  >>> Sorry Pamela my post sounded so inhumane. As a 20 year long
  >>> vegetarian, PETA member and (someone who doesn't even own
  >>> leather shoes, belt or wallet) I accept and understand the need
  >>> for some species in our natural world to be 'managed' either
  >>> through hunting or other forms of control. The 135 million  cats
  >>> (Wisc. Study)  that are an 'invasive' species (out of doors) need
  >>> to be managed. I will continue to chase any cat that wonders onto
  >>> my property and throw anything I happen upon to scare it off.
  >>> Maybe that is why I have only seen a cat twice in 10 years.
  >>>
  >>> Perhaps I am only doing what comes 'naturally' to me as one more
  >>> species on the planet.
  >>>
  >>> As an Audubon chapter president and board member the last 11
  >>> years, I have lectured and posted dozens and dozens of
  >>> informational suggestions and guides on dealing with the invasive
  >>> species of cats. I will continue to do so at every opportunity.
  >>> However as I stated before:
  >>>
  >>> Cat owners do not get to have it both ways, Cats are either
  >>> 'wildlife' or pets and what happens in the 'wilds' stays in the
  >>> wilds.
  >>>
  >>> Tom
  >>>
  >