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Cats Killing Billions Of Animals In The U.S.

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#1 Lunatic Pandora

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

It's official. Cats are teh evil.

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 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.

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.

Edited by Unseelie Sluagh, 29 January 2013 - 11:33 PM.

#2 Rhuen


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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:15 AM

House cats are an introduced invasive predatory species; this shouldn't be a surprise.

#3 Silver


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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:38 AM

Cats have reduced 33 other species to extinction... that's kind of crazy.


But, how many other animal species have humans killed off?

#4 Rhuen


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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

Cats have reduced 33 other species to extinction... that's kind of crazy.


But, how many other animal species have humans killed off?


*you just counting introduced *invasive species* house cats, or big-cats as well?


count big-cats which crossed landbridges during the ice age and that number increases (potentially).

-scientific debate on impact of new and competing predators in environments coinciding with large numbers of extinctions in said environments.

#5 Synari


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Posted 18 February 2013 - 11:08 PM

I honestly think the cats are getting blamed for alot of the birds killed by avian virus' and west nile virus. I've watched cats hunt birds; both feral and domestic, and only 1 in 7 results in a successful kill with birds.

Now rats, mice, chipmunks and squirrels are another matter all together. Those kills are closer to 1 in 3.


The issue perhaps lies in the fact that there are more domestic and feral cats now than ever. We have killed off many of their natural predators; foxes, coyotes, cougars and wolves. Humanity is the one causing the dischord in nature; we tip the balance.


Now onto the truth; this is just another distraction tactic by the media and government to take the focus off what humans do to decimate other species on this planet. Let's NOT count how many species a day WE decimate.....in the name of greed, money and just not giving a shit.

Edited by Synari, 18 February 2013 - 11:13 PM.

#6 Rhuen


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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:32 PM

introduction of any predatory creature, especially those that will kill for fun; will damage an ecosystem, sometimes severly if the wild life has no natural defenses against the capabilities of said predators.


House Cats: Much of Europe, North America, and Asia *introduced from Middle East, often so long ago its hard to tell just how much damage they caused. But often "grand fathered" in like with the Dingo in Australia thanks to how long ago they arrived and nature has mostly balanced out in many places. Except Australia; the latest foot ground of the House Cat where they decimate many small marsupials.


Red Fox: North America (introduced from Europe), out competes native Grey Foxes thanks to superior size, reproductive rate, and tactical skills, and also better suited for "Edge Environments" which humans produce, while the Grey Fox is arborial in nature. Red Foxes are also decimating marsupials in Australia. Introduced in both places by Humans who wanted to hunt them for sport but didn't know/didn't care that they adapt to being hunted by spreading out their territory and having larger litters at younger ages.


Coyote: All over North America other than South West and Great Planes. Thanks to humans hunting them, the coyote much like the Red Fox adapts to being hunted in the same ways, and as a bonus as humans using simular hunting methods eliminated the coyote's only competition as predators in many environments (wolves, cougars, black bears) they took over those niches through out Eastern America. These other species lacked the adaptation to being hunted skills that coyotes and Red Foxes share that caused them to have population explosions and migrate to new environments that eliminated these other predators.


Rats: Easter Island used to be covered in forest, rats ate the sugary seeds of the one species of tree here; while humans cut down the adult trees. Double whammy deforestation equals desert apocalypse and no lumber to build rafts to escape it. Also see Australia swarms and no native predators set up to feed on such fast reproducing prey species. Rats come from places with many mammalian predators that need to eat daily.


Pigs: everywhere they are introduced suffers, even places that had native pig populations suffer as native pigs are seldom good rivals for the European boar descended pigs. Many places of south eastern America and Australia are being hit badly.


Chickens: if we don't eat them and they go wild, they reproduce like rats.


Humans: the Planet Earth;

"my bad"


#7 Beorht



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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

That's a bad kitty.