Housecats are destroying New Zealand's natural habitat! They are an invasive species and a threat to indigenous wildlife! At least that's what Gareth Morgan says, the man behind a radical cat eradication campaign in New Zealand. But as Anthony asks, is removing felines the answer? And what might happen once they're gone?Good luck with that.
Science News has a more general view of the situation in Cats kill more than one billion birds each year.
New estimate suggests hunting felines take bigger bite than expected out of wildlife
By Susan Milius
Web edition: January 29, 2013
Domestic cats kill many more wild birds in the United States than scientists thought, according to a new analysis. Cats may rank as the biggest immediate danger that living around people brings to wildlife, researchers say.I don't care. I'm still keeping my indoor-outdoor cats in an urban setting. Here, they're catching animals that are not endangered and could become pests. On the other hand, cats in Pacific Islands like the Hawaiian Islands or New Zealand might not be as beneficial.
America’s cats, including housecats that adventure outdoors and feral cats, kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds in a year, says Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., who led the team that performed the analysis. Previous estimates of bird kills have varied, he says, but “500 million is a number that has been thrown around a lot.”
For wild mammals, the annual toll lies between 6.9 billion and 20.7 billion, Marra and his colleagues report along with the bird numbers January 29 in Nature Communications. The majority of these doomed mammals and birds fall into the jaws of cats that live outdoors full-time with or without food supplements from people.