The environmental impact of feral cats preying on the songbird populations

Cats in particular have earned a nasty reputation for themselves as blood thirsty killers of wildlife.

The environmental impact of feral cats preying on the songbird populations

It is an undeniable fact that cats are carnivores; their physiology demands this. However, the debate on cat predation focuses on the impact on the other species in their ecosystem. While it is clear that cats can and do have a large impact in exceptional situations isolated ecosystems being the primary exampleit is much more apparent that in our normal, everyday environments the actions of humans have a much greater effect on vulnerable and threatened species.

As cats are opportunistic feeders, providing them with a readily available food source as a part of a TNR program will reduce any effect they have on their traditional prey species. All cats, and feral cats in particular, have become convenient scapegoats for the loss of many species, especially songbirds.

However, we can no longer ignore the role that we humans have played in this process. Before we can sentence cats to death for being carnivores, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and what we have done to our ecosystem.

Bird Conservationist that calls TNR "cat hoarding without walls" turns the tables on cat predation. Nico Dauphine is a wildlife professional dedicated to bird conservation. In her latest piece, "Pick One: On May 11,Dauphine was charged with attempted animal cruelty, accused of poisoning cats in her Columbia Heights, D.

Dauphine has not had her day in court initial date is June 1, - but it appears she decided to answer her own call using something far less humane than the trap-and kill method of animal control she promotes.

Read the article here. A PDF version of the article is available. If you have trouble with the PDF link, please copy and paste this web address into your browser: The cost of an invasive species must be based on reliable estimates of economic losses and ecological impact.

The approach taken by Pimentel et al. Irrespective of the accuracy or inaccuracy of cat population or predation estimates, the literature on the subject provides little evidence of environmental loss to cat predation on native wildlife other than in isolated or fragmented habitats, thus the premise of a nationwide impact is unfounded.

An irrational and subjective valuation of bird deaths, the sole valuation used to determine the impact of the domestic cat, renders the valuation meaningless. The publications are replete with errors.

Cats do not belong everywhere, but misguided management policies driven by flawed or oversimplified science do not serve the public or our native populations of wildlife. If you have trouble with the link to the PDF version of the article, please copy and paste this web address into your browser: A growing body of research indicates TNR and wildlife conservation are not at odds!

This was based on a Resolution of the Council that desires banning TNR and the free-roaming domestic cat. TNR operations represent the best-practices of animal welfare authorities and TNR and the free-ranging cat do not pose a risk to wildlife or humans when properly managed. The well-researched letter with research citations is available here If you have trouble with the link to the PDF version of the article, please copy and paste this web address into your browser: April "One Billion Birds: It is not an estimate that uses any scientific methodology and is not presented as such by the author himselfand the guess is based on nothing more than generalized supposition as opposed to any research at all.

Also available in PDF Format for printing. The conclusion of the article is that this study simply does not stand up to scientific scrutiny. PDF version available for printing. If you are interested in analysis of the news, articles, claims, and peer review studies used to defend trap-and-kill policies or cat eradication programs, this site is a must read.

If you have trouble with this link, please copy and paste this web address into your browser: No Evidence Despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide.

This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation. There is evidence that cats tend to take weak or sickly birds. We also know that of the millions of baby birds hatched each year, most will die before they reach breeding age.

This is also quite natural, and each pair needs only to rear two young that survive to breeding age to replace themselves and maintain the population. It is likely that most of the birds killed by cats would have died anyway from other causes before the next breeding season, so cats are unlikely to have a major impact on populations.

If their predation was additional to these other causes of mortality, this might have a serious impact on bird populations. Those bird species that have undergone the most serious population declines in the UK such as skylarks, tree sparrows and corn buntings rarely encounter cats, so cats cannot be causing their declines.Controversy has arisen over how best to deal with populations of feral cats.

While cat advocates fight against killing cats, bird advocates and others see them as destructive to protected species. malnutrition, and traffic all account for the short lives of feral cats.

Feral cat colonies should not be confused with managed cat colonies.

The environmental impact of feral cats preying on the songbird populations

Despite the large numbers of birds killed, there is no scientific evidence that predation by cats in gardens is having any impact on bird populations UK-wide. This may be surprising, but many millions of birds die naturally every year, mainly through starvation, disease, or other forms of predation.

of native wildlife populations.3 There are more than 80 million pet cats in the of stray and feral cats roam our cities, suburbs, farmlands and natural areas. Abandoned by Domestic Cat Predation on Birds and other Wildlife tranceformingnlp.com Aug 27,  · The story behind feral cats is as much about human intervention as it is about the feral cat’s impact on and relationship with their environment.

In one sense, feral cats are the result of a partnership between man and animal gone rogue. Alley Cat Allies › Resources › Veterinarian Awareness › Biology and Behavior of the Cat.

Biology and Behavior of the Cat Feral cats are opportunistic feeders—they will eat whatever food is easiest to find. Hunting behaviour of domestic cats and their impact on prey populations.

In The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior. Cats are preying on our local songbird populations, resulting in a shortage of food for the Merlins. In addition to predation by cats, the songbirds, in certain areas of North America, are also showing signs of sickness due to the West Nile virus.

Cat predation on wildlife - Wikipedia