In Defense of Animals (IDA) News Alert
Subj: IDA Enews: 1-5-04
[Scroll down to]
5. California Cat Sanctuary Closing; Cats In Need
Valley Center, California (near Escondido)
They offer their stray friends a good bite
Times of India, India
Cat returns home after five years
BBC News, UK
The faces behind the door [CHARLOTTE, N.C.]
[Scroll down to] FOR THE LOVE OF TOM
BY JERI FISCHER KRENTZ AND L. MUELLER
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Fort Wayne News Sentinel, IN
ANIMAL NEWS--JAN 5, 2004
Bye-bye, poor birdies: Killer cats taking a toll
By J. Michael Kennedy
Los Angeles Times
Published January 4, 2004
[FC Blog Note: The link for this article is not currently available so the text is included below.
Letters to Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the oft-quoted studies, see "Feral Cat Predation and Its Effects on Wildlife - Searching For the Truth"
©2003 Christine L. O’Keefe, Ph.D., "Addressing the Wisconsin Study"
© 2003 Laurie D. Goldstein with assistance from Christine L. O’Keefe, PhD and Heidi L. Bickel and other articles on the Cat Predation
webpage at www.StrayPetAdvocacy.org
There's a killer on the loose, stalking victims out of public sight and mind. Operating under the guise of the garden-variety house cat, this predator is responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of birds every year. So many birds are being killed by cats and collisions with urban America that fully a quarter of the winged species are in decline, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Millions of birds die when they slam into glass office buildings or sliding-glass doors. Millions more meet their end on auto windshields. Still millions more die in crashes with communication towers, power lines and wind turbines.
But house cats are the slaughter machines. One study concluded that free-ranging cats kill at least 7.8 million birds each year in rural Wisconsin alone. And that excludes urban areas. Another study in Michigan concluded that a single pet cat killed at least 60 birds in an 18-month period.
"How the devil do we deal with neighborhood cats?" wondered Al Manville, a biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service who specializes in migratory birds. "My suspicion is that we're going to continue to see some dwindling numbers."
Fish and Wildlife's list of "birds of conservation concern"--a kind of early-warning system for the avian set--grew to 131 in 2002 from 28 in 1982. The category does not include the 92 bird species listed as threatened or endangered.
There are an estimated 77.7 million pet cats in the United States, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. That's 26 million more cats than there were 15 years ago. Roughly two-thirds of them are allowed to roam outside. That number doesn't take into account the swarm of stray and feral cats, another 60 million to 100 million, said the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
That's bad news for birds. Ron Jurek, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game who specializes in cat predation, said people often take the stance that felines killing birds is not a problem because there are so many of them flying around.
"But a poacher could say the same thing," he countered.
In California, several species of endangered birds are threatened by cats, including the Western snowy plover, brown pelican, least tern and California gnatcatcher, according to the American Bird Conservancy.
Seven years ago, the conservancy decided to fight back, starting Cats Indoors! a campaign to keep feline pets in the house.
Linda Winter, who has headed the program since its inception, said the Defense Department contracted with the group to devise a program for military installations because of the large cat-abandonment rate by soldiers and their families transferring to other bases. Outer Banks National Park in North Carolina has asked Cats Indoors! to help in the protection of its shore birds.
"We've got thousands of activists in every state in the country," she said.
The major message: Cats are not a natural part of the ecosystem. They compete with native predators and can spread disease.
The conservancy also preaches that cats live longer indoors, that they hunt even if well fed and that "cat colonies" are a serious threat to birds.
Cat colonies are places where large numbers of feral cats congregate and are fed by humans. In many cases, the animals are spayed or neutered, but Jurek said that doesn't stop cats from hunting, only from reproducing.
The least tern, a coastal bird with several dozen colonies from San Francisco to San Diego, faces a threat from raccoons, foxes and dogs, but by far its biggest enemy is cats, a species far less domesticated than anyone thought.
Cat traps aim to save dotterels
[FC Blog Note: rare plover shorebirds]
By STEPHEN FORBES
Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand
Stingy pizza makers, saucy driver, mechanics, office slacker
Orlando Sentinel (subscription), FL
I'm ticked off at the county for fining people who are kind enough to feed
stray cats. How cruel can you get?
Pet shelter chief an advocate for elderly animals
By LINDA SALISBURY
Herald Tribune, FL
Cats and dogs are here to stay at pet-friendly Effem Foods
China Post, Taiwan
[FC Blog Note: The Civet Cat is not a feline. Civet cat is sold as a delicacy food at wildlife food markets in China. See also ZOONOSIS - DISEASES SPREAD FROM CAT TO MAN
Copyright 2000, 2003 Sarah Hartwell
Scroll down to, Excerpts from
This section is included because of media confusion over the cat's role in SARS and headlines such as "SARS triggered by cat eating" which fail to distinguish between civet cats and true cats.
The Palm Civet (Paguma larvata), a relative of the mongoose (viverrid family) and not a cat at all. The term "Civet Cat" describes a variety of cat-like creatures .....]
China to Kill Rats, Civet Cats Amid SARS Fears
By Nick Macfie
Second man in southern China diagnosed with SARS
Ban on beef imports chews into pet food
By PATRICK BRETHOUR
The Globe and Mail, Canada