Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just seen on an Australian cat site

'The genuinely feral cats might be more accurately called "native" cats.'

I paraphrased to avoid copyright issues, but I didn't change the meaning. No, you are showing your ignorance. Cats have never been and never will be native to Australia, any more than they are to the United States.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm refreshing links to some of our favorite places and people.

NaturalVisions Photography & Birding Blog
Birdfreak Birding Blog
Birds Etcetera (aka Bird Stuff)
Moose Droppings
10,000 Birds
WoodSong- Off the Beaten Path
A Blog Around The Clock
Invasive Species Weblog
Living the Scientific Life

"what my cats have killed" Blog

How can he brag about his cat killing a rabbit?

Dr. Scott Shalaway: It's 'My Turn' about killing bird

This is a followup on the Newsweek article describing 64-year-old Walda Cameron’s 14-month-long obsession with a male cardinal that attacked her home’s windows every day. She resorted to using a shotgun.

The photo of the 64-year-old redhead holding a shotgun across her chest aroused an image of Lucy waiting for Ethel to join the hunt. Slapstick and guns can be a fatal combination.
The Migratory Bird Protection Act of 1918 protects all native songbirds. It is a federal offense to kill any native bird without a proper permit. Having confessed her crime in a national magazine, I wonder when a U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement agent will pay Cameron a visit.
Though warned at the gun shop that killing a cardinal was illegal, Cameron bought a shotgun, went home and immediately fired at the bird. She missed and somehow cut her finger. She obviously had not taken time for a course in gun safety or hunter education. She decided that the shot was “safe” because there was “only forest” behind the target. I hope that means there were no neighbors living in those woods.
By appearing in Newsweek, this essay communicates to all that the proper way to deal with a problem bird is to buy a gun and kill it. We humans have pretty big brains. We ought to be able to outwit a bird brain without resorting to gunfire. Newsweek should know better.

Free-roaming cats a menace to bird population

Although spring is typically seen as a time of rebirth and regeneration, the season also can bring doom for birds. Many of them become vulnerable to uncontrolled cats as they prance about a lawn or back yard looking for nesting materials or food.
Studies by ornithologists show that bird watchers would have millions of additional birds to enjoy if it were not for uncontrolled cats, a constant threat as long a birds remain in an area.
Studies indicate 40 million cats are permitted by their owners to roam freely, and another 28 million cats roam freely because they have no owners. Together, they annually reap widespread destruction on birds and mammals alike.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bird Watchers and Technology

I was reading at 10,000 Birds when one of their blogs Bird Watchers and Technology caught my eye. I've been considering investing in some good equipment.
Mike mentions Laura Erickson of Birderblog and Lillian Stokes of Stokes Birding Blog. Surf on over and see what you think of the interesting discussion.

'I Don't Want to Live in a Tree' A plea against free-roaming

After Big Fred had been with us awhile, Daddy installed a cat door so he come and go as he pleased. Sometimes he invited his friends home, and we would find two or three stranger cats sitting around the house when we got up in the morning. During the day he liked to wander off into the woods, but he always came running, a bright orange streak across the neighbors' lawns, when he heard the magic 'Here, kitty, kitty, kitty' at suppertime.
Then one evening, Fred was brought home to us in a neighbor's car. The doorbell rang frantically, and there was Mr. Beal, carrying our beloved pet in a cardboard box. Mr. Beal had seen the hit and run from his living room window, ran out, recognized the cat, and hurried to us straight away. Fred's screams of agony were unbearable; there was blood everywhere, and pieces of his intestines were coming out of his mouth. My mother was on the phone to the vet when I charged out of my bedroom, and as she hung up she said, 'They are sending someone over, but they don't think they will be able to help him.'
Hearing this, my father unlocked the gun cabinet, took out his revolver and loaded it.

Evidence is mounting to link toxoplasmosis with schizophrenia

Keep pet cats inside, stop feeding strays, cook meat sufficiently and reconsider the way the veterinary profession and public health agencies think - and teach - about the zoonotic pathogen Toxoplasma gondii.
Such are the recommendations of Milton M. McAllister, a professor of pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He delivered that message in Christchurch, New Zealand, at the 20th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology.
McAllister, also a clinical professor of pathology in the U. of I. College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign, made his case based on his review of numerous studies on the animal-carried pathogen during the past decade. His review, prepared for the conference, appeared in the Sept. 30 issue of the journal Veterinary Parasitology.
"Our profession needs to come to grip with the accumulating body of evidence about the tremendous burden wrought on society by toxoplasmosis," McAllister wrote. "Further research is needed to clarify the association between toxoplasmosis and mental health, but until such time that this association may be refuted, it is my opinion that the current evidence is strong enough to warrant an assumption of validity."


Curious cats go crazy over rats

Two curious cats went crazy for rats during an ABC7 report on an infestation at a NYC restaurant last Friday.

Sox and Houdini went straight for the screen of their owner's TV when Ron Magers reported on a rat-infested restaurant in NYC.
As soon as it was over, they lost interest, according to owners Shawn and Molly Blobaum of Waterman, Ill.

Shelter forced to kill 1,000 dogs and cats

This is what happens when pet populations go exponential on you. This is a drop in the bucket when compared to our wildlife killed everyday.

An outbreak of contagious diseases at a shelter where officials admit they kept animals for too long without destroying them has forced the killing of about 1,000 dogs and cats, officials said.
Visiting inspectors from The Humane Society of the United States discovered the outbreak of the diseases -- distemper and Parvovirus in dogs and panleukopenia in cats -- Lied Animal Shelter spokesman Mark Fierro said.
"We caused the animals pain, and that is something we are committed will never happen in our shelter again," said Janie Greenspun Gale, board chairwoman for the Animal Foundation, which operates the Lied Animal Shelter, according to KTNV News in Las Vegas. (Watch scenes inside the shelter that became riddled with disease )
During a Thursday news conference, a tearful Greenspun Gale acknowledged that the shelter hadn't followed Humane Society policies, and though the animals were immunized, "we were using the wrong immunizations," KTNV reported.
The shelter staff didn't want to euthanize the animals simply because they'd been there too long or because the shelter needed more space, Greenspun Gale said, but the misguided effort backfired. Humane Society officials said as much when they visited the shelter.
"Instead of congratulating us for trying to save lives, instead of telling us how wonderful we were that we didn't want to put animals down for time and space, they told us we were causing animals to suffer," Greenspun Gale said, according to KTNV.
The mass culling, which began February 9, is believed to be the largest in the city's history and has prompted shelter officials to change their methods of caring for animals.

Breaking news: Feral Cats like Fritos

Films at 11:00.

Galveston, oh Galveston

I'm thinking of making a day of it in Galveston soon. I could see how the birds are moving, do a little shopping, and maybe scout out the feral cat situation there. When I think of Galveston I often think of this song.

Artist/Band: Campbell Glen
Lyrics for Song: Galveston
Lyrics for Album: Very Best of Glen Campbell
Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin'
She was 21 when I left Galveston
Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston
I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run
Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

No-Kill Movement

Cat owners advocate No-kill projects for cats. When will they show they value the lives of the millions of our birds and other wildlife their feral and roaming cats are killing? I advocate zero tolerance for alien pests in the wild, whether they be cats, dogs, pythons or iquanas. Our native wildlife should be the number one priority where animals are concerned. There is no shortage of feral cats.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Scooter blogged about Cat Scratch Disease...

Scooter blogged about Cat Scratch Disease a few days ago. I've just been reminded of it when trying to draw the resident feral kitty a little closer to my lap. I got a nice deep scratch across the back of my hand for my kindness. That's just one more reminder of why I don't like cats.
Another thing this reminds me of, most of you have heard cat enthusiasts say my sweet little fuzzy wuzzy poo poo brought a bird to me, but he didn't hurt it. Here's a quote for them. "Even birds with trivial wounds caused by cats must be classified as emergency patients. The risk of an infection after a cat bite is about 56%." I'm not sure what the percentage is in people, but if I fail to show up...

About the Fat Birder

For those few of you birding enthusiasts who haven't been introduced to Bo, you've been missing something. He's a fine birder, a conservationist, and a friend. Please do yourself a favor and join the FatBirder Webring and the Fat Birder's Top 500 Birding Websites. You will be glad you did.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Can I kill a cat if it poops in my yard?

My kids like to play and there's a cat that visits every night.
By Cary Tennis
I'm having a problem with a cat. At least I assume it's a cat since I've never actually seen it. The cat uses my yard and garden as its toilet. This, by itself is not a serious matter; I clean detritus out of my yard regularly as a matter of course. The real problem is that my young children, who love to play in the yard and putter in the garden, always run afoul of the cat's mess if I haven't cleaned it up first. So, every morning I must police my yard and garden for signs of the cat's nightly visit and clean up after it. Oftentimes, I must be away from home on business and there is no one to perform this duty. So my kids stay inside or go outside and get fouled.
Recently, I've been considering a solution to this problem. A permanent solution. I'm not a cat hater. I've had and enjoyed several cats as pets. I don't wish upon this cat any painful punishment or cruel revenge. I don't know whose cat it is, whether it even has a home and is loved or is left to its own devices. I simply want it to disappear and can certainly arrange it. I was raised in a semi-rural environment where we had livestock, which we even played with and petted, but which also eventually were slaughtered and eaten. Killing animals that we had raised seemed perfectly natural and was the practical conclusion to the endeavor. When our pet dogs or cats were seriously ill, grievously injured or simply became too numerous, we shed our tears and then sent them to their reward without the services of a veterinarian or animal shelter. This solution to my cat problem seems perfectly reasonable to me, akin to the fate dealt to gophers, rats and other living nuisances. On the other hand, I realize a cat's difference; people increasingly put great store in their pets, considering them to be family members in every regard. What I consider to be a reasonable solution will surely be considered an immoral crime by others.

Violations of Bird Protection Laws Should Be Prosecuted!

Anyone recklessly abandoning a domestic animal, cat or dog, to kill our "protected" wildlife should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They should be persecuted too, but I'd settle for prosecuted.
Here's your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate

What Jeff Killed (The web site for a killer cat)

The owner of this cat should be jailed.

Welcome to What Jeff Killed, your authoritative source for news and information about Jeff The Giant Orange Cat and his favorite pastime: killing things.

DISCLAIMER: This Web site contains disgusting/disturbing images, has no value whatsoever, and due to its content should not be viewed by anyone. Read the full disclaimer.

Purring predator - pet cats and wildlife (Great Britain)

Many Britishers seem stoic about cat predation. Why I can't fathom.
Mammal Society findings
Our sample cats killed more than 14,000 mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. With a population in Britain estimated as in excess of 8 million, domestic moggies could be killing 275 million creatures a year. True to the stereotype, mice are top of the list, followed by field and bank voles. Cats killed almost as many shrews, though these are rarely eaten because of their distasteful glands. Less-common species, such as water shrews, harvest mice and yellow-necked mice, along with protected water voles and dormice, were also taken.
Cats also took larger mammals, including high numbers of rabbits, squirrels, weasels and even a few stoats. Cats took a worrying number of bats, generally by waiting outside roost entrances and hooking them as they emerged at dusk.
The variety of bird species taken was astonishing and included jays, woodpeckers, gulls, treecreepers, goldcrests and swifts, although sparrows were top by a long way. As for reptiles and amphibians, frogs were well to the fore, followed by slow-worms. Rare sand lizards also featured.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cat shot in head by pellet gun

This is the point where half the people on the cat forums will threaten to beat the perp to death with a ball bat, should they ever find him. What they will not do is assess any blame on the owner who allowed the cat to stray or feel any qualms about the wildlife this cat may have been murdering. I don't advise this, by the way. Trap the cats and take them to animal control.

A cat that survived being shot three times in the head by a pellet gun is looking for a foster family.
The 1-year-old tabby is currently under observation in the Arizona Humane Society's Second Chance Animal Hospital™.
On Feb. 9, an AHS Emergency Animal Medical Technician (EAMT™) received a call regarding an injured stray cat who presumably had a piece of metal stuck in his face.
The EAMT discovered the lethargic and disoriented feline cowering underneath a vehicle parked in an industrial lot located near 10th Street and Baseline Road.
AHS chief veterinarian Nancy Bradley said one of the three pellets entered behind the left side of the cat's skull, leaving an entry wound in the front of his head. The other two pellets were found behind the cat's left eye and below the left side of his neck. The latter pellet was surgically removed by Bradley.
"Although we have had quite a few cats brought in that have been shot, I've not seen an injury quite like this before," Bradley said. "It is definitely a miracle that he's still alive and doing well so far. This act was certainly intentional and whoever purposely shot him was at a pretty close range."
Now the cat, dubbed Valentine by AHS staff, is stable enough to go to a foster family until he fully recovers in hopes of finding a permanent home.
Valentine may develop future neurological damage, which may eventually cause him to loose his left eye, but Bradley hopes he will find a good home.
"Valentine deserves every chance we can give him," Bradley said. "Through it all, he's been extremely affectionate, and a true sweetheart, hence his name. Many animals suffer a slow, lingering death having been shot and we're glad we were there for him."
The AHS and Silent Witness are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of the person(s) suspected of purposely shooting him with a pellet gun. Anyone with information is urged to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

Domestic Cat

This site says it's for educating school children. It looks like good information for people of all ages.

In the spring we sometimes see baby birds in need.

I always get injured or young to a qualified wildlife rehabilitator, after being certain the parents aren’t in attendance. Here’s an url to an index.

An update on the cat that's staying here.

Here's an update on that feral cat that has been staying here. That critter seems to have decided to be a tame kitty. I'm glad about that, and will ensure wherever it finds a home it will be one indoors.

I'm waving a hand at my neighbors at South Padre Island

My neighbors have a super blog at SPI Gardens. That stands for South Padre Island Gardens for the non-Texans out there. I see they have a cat problem down there, too. Quoting Sam:

"Please do not prune or cut bushes and trees until after the Fall-out is over. We need to start promoting this in our backyards because so much wildland is being developed on the Island, and so many beautiful birds die here and become feral cat bait (a problem on this Island). Please help out birds, hummers, and butterflies northward this spring."

Those folks are fine birders and ecologists and deserve all the help we can give them. I see now Sam's got another site Poof'n'Whiffs where he's blogged about saving endangered sea turtles. See what I mean about my neighbors? :-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Owls culprits in cat deaths (Another good reason for cats indoors)

This is an old story, but still applies.
Four thriving in overgrown Covington lot
Four owls nested this spring in a vacant and overgrown lot behind Kirk Fightmaster's east Covington home, and it wasn't long before some cats turned up missing.
"Some kids from the neighborhood found pieces of them," said Fightmaster, who lives on the 1800 block of Maryland Avenue.
At first, neighbors blamed coyotes, and some wondered if the cats had been killed as part of a ritual sacrifice, but Fightmaster discovered the culprits as he watched the owls hunting.
"I haven't seen any rabbits in a while," Fightmaster said. "I usually have them in my garden, but I haven't had any problem with them (lately)."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cat-Scratch Disease

What is cat-scratch disease, and how do people get it?
Cat-scratch disease is an infection caused by bacteria (germs) carried in cat saliva. The bacteria can be passed from a cat to a human. Doctors and researchers think cats may get the bacteria from fleas, although this hasn't been proved.
You can get cat-scratch disease from a cat bite or cat scratch. You can get the infection after a cat scratches you if the cat's paws have the bacteria on them. (A cat can get the bacteria on its paws when it licks itself.) With a cat bite, the cat can pass the bacteria to you in its saliva. You can also get the bacteria in your eyes if you pet a cat that has the bacteria on its fur and then rub your eyes. Many people who get cat-scratch disease do not remember being scratched or bitten by a cat.
Cat-scratch disease is not a severe illness in people who are healthy. But it can be a problem in people with weak immune systems. People with weak immune systems include those who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer, those who have diabetes or those who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Florida State Laws Potentially Applicable to Free-Roaming, Domestic Cats

These laws should be ENFORCED in every state!
(1) It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having obtained a permit to do so from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
(2) The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is authorized to issue or deny such a permit upon the completion of studies of the species made by it to determine any detrimental effect the species might have on the ecology of the state.
(3) Persons in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Here's your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate

Domestic Cat Predation in Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Policy on Impacts of Domestic Cats
on Native Wildlife, adopted May 30, 2003
Recommended strategies:
1. Develop and implement a comprehensive education program to increase public awareness of the impacts that feral and free-ranging cats present to wildlife, identify ways for cat owners to minimize impacts, and inform cat owners of laws prohibiting the release or abandonment of cats to the wild
2. Eliminate the threat cats pose to the viability of local populations of wildlife, particularly species listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern.
3. Prohibit the release, feeding, or protection of cats on lands managed by the FWC, and strongly oppose programs and policies that allow the release, feeding, or protection of cats on public lands that support wildlife habitat.
4. Provide technical advice, policy support, and partnerships to land management agencies in order to prevent the release, feeding, or protection of cats on public lands that support wildlife habitat.
5. Oppose creation and support elimination of TNR colonies and similar managed cat colonies wherever they potentially and significantly impact local wildlife populations.
6. Evaluate the need for new rules to minimize the impact of cats on native wildlife.

Coyotes thrive on easy pickings across Florida

It should concern pet owners to know that coyotes will also eat cats and small dogs, as they are the size of their natural prey.
Research in other states has shown that it is not possible to eliminate coyotes as a predator in the wild or in urban areas. They are wild animals that have learned to live with us. We can learn to live with them and reduce unpleasant encounters by taking a few precautions.
The first important thing to do is really a don't. Don't feed the animals. Do not leave pet food outside, and secure garbage cans so they cannot get into them or knock them over.
If coyotes are known to be in your area, be especially cautious with puppies and dogs when letting them outside in the morning or early evening. Stay with them while they are outside. If you have outdoor pets, be sure to keep them in secure cages.
Coyotes are not domesticated animals, so do not try to get near them. Don't try to touch them, catch them or tame them. They are generally shy and secretive but will get used to being around humans and may be seen in the open in neighborhoods. They can carry rabies and other diseases such as parvo virus and can transmit them to your pets if they have not been vaccinated.
Don't let your pet cats outside to become food for coyotes. They are safer inside, and they are less likely to get diseases that can be spread by wild animals and feral cats that also run wild outside.

Trap and Kill Methods

The most common method of feral cat population control is "trap and kill," or feral "eradication." Groups that support this seemingly direct, simple, and immediate method of population control have several reasons for doing so. Bird advocates witness the present population of feral cats preying on the existing population of songbirds, and respond accordingly. Where significant numbers of songbirds are endemic, bird advocates point out that TNR does not reduce the impact of cat predation on birds because the cats, no matter how well fed, continue to prey on the birds. They suggest that only elimination of the cats will prevent loss of birds, but that people can prevent the trapping and killing of cats by responsibly looking after and sterilizing their pets.
The American Bird Conservancy estimates that native birds represent 20-30% of the prey of free-roaming cats. The group encourages "eliminat[ion] of free-roaming cat colonies through humane capture by animal care and control facilities." The elimination of cats by animal control agencies typically involves trapping the animals and then killing them by means of carbon monoxide poisoning. This has been criticized as an inhumane and dangerous practice because the cats die a slow, suffocating death and carbon monoxide poses a hazard to animal control personnel. See As a result, animal advocate groups have encouraged use of lethal injection with sodium pentobarbital, which is considered a more humane method of euthanasia.
Euthanasia is also reluctantly supported by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which cites the miserable lives of feral cats as justification for the practice. However, PETA supports managed colonies where they are vigilantly monitored and maintained. According the group, a managed colony is acceptable where the cats are protected from roads and other dangers, vaccinated, and closely-monitored in areas where they do not pose a threat to wildlife. However, PETA believes TNR is rarely a success, and thus supports humane euthanasia as the lesser of two evils— an alternative preferable to the fate awaiting free-roaming cats.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Are Owned Cats Causing an Overpopulation Crisis?

Cats vs. dogs at the shelter:
At the third largest shelter in the country, Santa Clara County, California, 36% of the animals handled are dogs, vs. 64% cats.
Euthanasia totals are 80% cats and 20% dogs.
Litters produced by owned cats:
A Massachusetts SPCA (MSPCA) study in 1991 shows 20% of cats have a litter prior to being altered.
A National Pet Alliance (NPA) study of Santa Clara County in 1993 concluded 16% of female cats have a litter prior to being altered.
A 1981 study of Las Vegas, out of Kansas State University, found that 16% of the unspayed females reproduced.
Stray cats fed, but not claimed:
A HSUS national survey in 1992 found nearly 25% of households feed stray cats.
Are owned cats altered?
The MSPCA study reported 87% of owned cats were already altered.
The Las Vegas study from KSU found 86% of owned female cats were spayed.
A report from Tufts University showed 91.5% of owned female cats were spayed.
The Santa Clara County survey found 86% of owned cats were altered.
Death rates:
Dr. Roger Nassar, who conducted the Las Vegas study, concluded the average life span of the owned cats, based on respondents' answers, was 7.02 years.
Ellen Perry Berkeley, in her book Maverick Cats, from various sources indicates the life span of feral cats to be 2-3 years.
Also from Maverick Cats, we find only 33% of feral kittens are alive at age 1 year.
More interesting statistics

Robot twitcher to scan skies for rare bird

The world's first robot twitcher has joined the hunt for the ivory-billed woodpecker. The device's inventors hope it will come up with the first hard evidence for the elusive bird's existence, and say it could monitor other rare species.
Hopes in the world of ornithology had been raised in 2004 by a tantalising video apparently showing an example of the ivory-billed woodpecker, previously believed to have died out in the 1930s in swampy forest in the south-eastern US.
But researchers could not agree on whether the blurred images were the real thing or a similar species, the pileated woodpecker. To settle the issue, a robotic bird-watcher will scan the skies continuously in the hope it will crack the "holy grail of bird-watching" with video proof.
"A single photographic frame would have to clearly show the unique markings of the ivory-billed woodpecker," said Ken Goldberg at the University of California, Berkeley.


I'm guest-blogging on one of my favorite topics, birds. Here's more pressure on the birds in Mexico!
U.S. consumer demand for certain imperiled Mexican parrot species could be a major factor in their extinction if current trends continue, according to a new report titled The Illegal Parrot Trade in Mexico: A Comprehensive Assessment released today by Defenders of Wildlife. Of the top 10 Mexican parrot species that are smuggled into the United States, five are endangered, two are threatened and one is under special protection in Mexico.
"Clearly this is not a sustainable market. Smuggling of certain endangered parrots, such as the yellow headed parrot and the yellow naped parrot, into the United States is increasing, and this demand is pushing already depleted parrot populations in Mexico to the brink of extinction," says Juan Carlos Cantu Guzman, manager of the Mexico program at Defenders of Wildlife and lead author of the report. "Birds are being taken from the wild, sometimes plucked right out of the nest, and dying at alarming rates for sale in the pet trade. Next to habitat loss, parrot trapping posses the greatest threat to the birds' survival in Mexico."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

NaturalVisions Photography & Birding Blog

I was doing my research today, you know, googling "feral cats, birds", and making random forays into other forums to see what was happening. I noticed Kevin Doxstater at Natural Visions Photography & Birding Blog had seen our poem of last night and provided a link to it here as well as our humble forum. I don't have to tell you who know me how much I appreciate his kind words and leniency in critiquing my poetic efforts.
The only way we will ever stop feral and roaming cats from decimating our wildlife is to work together. We appreciate Kevin's blogging contribution immensely. Thank you, Kevin, for standing up and being counted for our birds and other wildlife.

Why aren't our Wildlife Protection Laws being Enforced?

And although Hatley determined releasing cats into the wild and supporting feral cat colonies is a violation of federal laws, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act, enforcement of these and other state and local regulations with the same goals is rare against those who release cats or support feral colonies, she said.


Here's your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate. Please write them and send them a strong message to enforce our laws protecting our wildlife!

Here's the The Wildlife Society and American Bird Conservancy statements which you can quote.

Who cries for the birds?

The searches I made for feral, cat, poetry,
plaintive results, all speaking for abused cats.
I'll write my own, sez I, asking
"Who cries for the birds?"
Their ancestors wallowed in the swamps here,
they evolved, sang sweet songs of life, and flew!
Their numbers increased and they thrived,
No eagle, raccoon, or snake could vanquish their numbers,
The feral invaders came and kills them by the millions,
Who cries for the birds?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gene Expression: Cats (A scientific discussion)

A scientific discussion of genetics in cats is being led by Razib at "Gene Expression".

Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its latest report, verifying that:
Human activities have increased greenhouse gases to their highest level in the atmosphere in 650,000 years, outweighing all other factors in causing global warming;
Global temperatures have risen to their warmest level in 500 to 1,000 years;
Climate change is causing more extreme weather events, such as severe storms and droughts; and
Climate change threatens ecosystems and human-well being.
The IPCC—a group of scientists convened by the United Nations—is the world's leading authority on climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cats and Wildlife A Conservation Dilemma

Despite the difficulties in showing the effect most predators have on their prey, cats are known to have serious impacts on small mammals and birds. Worldwide, cats may have been involved in the extinction of more bird species than any other cause, except habitat destruction. Cats are contributing to the endangerment of populations of birds such as Least Terns, Piping Plovers and Loggerhead Shrikes. In Florida, marsh rabbits in Key West have been threatened by predation from domestic cats [11]. Cats introduced by people living on the barrier islands of Florida's coast have depleted several unique species of mice and woodrats to near extinction [12, 13].
Not only do cats prey on many small mammals and birds, but they can outnumber and compete with native predators. Domestic cats eat many of the same animals that native predators do. When present in large numbers, cats can reduce the availability of prey for native predators, such as hawks [14] and weasels [15].
Free-ranging domestic cats may also transmit new diseases to wild animals. Domestic cats have spread feline leukemia virus to mountain lions [16] and may have recently infected the endangered Florida Panther with feline panleukopenia (feline distemper) and an immune deficiency disease [17]. These diseases may pose a serious threat to this rare species. Some free-ranging domestic cats also carry several diseases that are easily transmitted to humans, including rabies and toxoplasmosis [18].

Cats and Wildlife: A Deadly Combination

Free-roaming domestic cats in the United States annually kill hundreds of millions of birds and three times as much small wildlife (mammals, reptiles, and amphibians).
Despite the volume of cat-related wildlife injuries and deaths, many people argue that this is “natural.” This is not so. Most cat “prey” consists of native species; while cats are an introduced species. According to the American Bird Conservancy, “Wildlife in the Western Hemisphere did not evolve in the presence of a small, abundant predator like the domestic cat, and thus, did not develop defenses against [it].”
A recent study also shows that cats are contributing to increases in the insect population by killing insect-eating birds. The problem is further compounded because as wilderness areas continue to decline, birds and other animals are seeking backyards, parks, and gardens as resting places and sources of food and water.
Ground nesting, feeding, nestling, and fledgling birds particularly are at risk. Cats also kill small native mammals that other native species, such as hawks and kestrels, rely on for food. Further, cats are not conservationists, and their prey can include endangered species.

Inside/Outside Cat:

Inside/Outside Cat: Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, they're more susceptible to life-threatening diseases, ticks and other parasites. They can become lost or get hit by a car (1.5 million cats are killed by autos annually), hurt in a fight or poisoned. Outside cats kill a lot of wildlife. You can make your outdoor cat an indoor cat.
Outdoor cats commonly have a life expectancy of fewer than 5 years, while indoor cats is up to 17 years.Ê With less exposure to disease, other cats and animals, and fewer opportunities to have accidents , vet bills are less and cats and owners live happier and healthier lives! A safety collar with an identification tag is always good even for a cat kept inside.

"What percentage of wildlife patients are victims of outdoor cats?"

Sandy Beck, a journalist with the Tallahassee Democrat, asked an Internet wildlife rehabilitation chat group: "What percentage of your wildlife patients are victims of outdoor cats?" Responses from professional rehabbers around the country ranged from 14 to 30 percent.

Feral cats are like tribbles...


If you remember the Star Trek episode with tribbles, you'll recall those cute, little furry creatures that everyone loved -- at least until furballs began spilling out of every nook and cranny, threatening the survival of the Enterprise. It turned out that tribbles are born pregnant and hungry, almost like feral cats, except feral cats are natural born killers of our wildlife, whether they are hungry or not.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A sincere thank you to all you bird bloggers.

I posted this at 10,000 Birds, too.
I got online in 1999 as a complete computer illiterate. Luckily, I learned some HTML and CSS at Delphiforums. I’ve thought about going to a more sophisticated board than Blogger, but don’t know if I could handle it with this #@%^& PTSD.
You guys and ladies have impressed me as well as several like Eddie and his Team at Birdfreak's Birding Blog, and Bo, (Fatbirder) having helped immensely. All I can say is birders rate right up there with the veteran’s organizations I’m a member of when it comes to dedication to our wildlife. I have all the respect in the world for that.

Coturnix at A Blog Around The Clock has been "Blogrolling"

Coturnix at A Blog Around The Clock has been doing some "Blogrolling" tonight. Our humble forum is among those he graciously mentioned as are our Friends at Birdfreak's Birding Blog. Cooperation like this is needed so very much right now with all the pressures on our treasured wildlife.

It's time for us to do the responsible and adult thing for our vanishing wildlife.

It's time for us to do the responsible and adult thing for our rapidly vanishing wildlife. The only answers for the tens of millions of feral cats in our ecology are a vigorous program of euthanasia, strict licensing, leash laws, and stiff fines for those endangering our wildlife. Anything less perpetuates this chronic problem.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I have heros on these birding blogs!

I want to be as fluent in English as most of my birder friends when I grow up. Daddy was from Arkansas and Mom was from Oklahoma. Our ancestors were from Kentucky and Tennessee, then England, Ireland, and Scotland, apart from the indigneous Cherokees. They raised me in Texas, so English is my second language. I have been learning though. :-)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Judge spares terror tomcat but orders house arrest, no exceptions

Doh! All she had to do was to keep her pet indoors, and prevent him from attacking people! This is from June 25, 2006
A state judge on Tuesday spared the life of Lewis the cat, whose vicious attacks on neighbors landed his owner in court, but the terrorizing tomcat was ordered confined to the house at all times.
"There are no exceptions. None," Judge Patrick Carroll told Lewis' owner, Ruth Cisero.
If Lewis gets out, even accidentally, Cisero could face up to 6 months in prison, and Lewis' fate would be in the hands of animal control officers.
Cisero had faced a charge of reckless endangerment because neighbors complained that the black and white cat's long claws and stealth had allowed it to attack at least a half-dozen people. Some who were bitten and scratched ended up seeking treatment at hospitals.
The judge ordered Cisero to complete two years of probation, after which her record will be expunged.
Cisero had fought to keep Lewis, and rejected a previous probation deal because it was contingent on euthanizing the cat.
"I never thought it would come to this," she said. "It's been an absolute nightmare. It's ruined my life."
The cat's case has drawn national attention, with Lewis appearing in People magazine and on his own page on A Utah animal sanctuary offered to take the cat, but Eugene Riccio, Cisero's attorney, said Lewis enjoys life in southern New England and wants to stay.

The best way to describe a twinkling big city lights during bird migration is “death trap”.

Learn more at Birdfreak's Birding Blog!

Dogs seized amid animal cruelty probe (Another reason for cats indoors!)

A feeling of repulsion came over Janet Keleher as she watched a video on a teenager’s MySpace page Sunday, she said.
When she saw messages on a Yahoo! chat group asking what could be done about the video, she immediately went to the page to see it.
If you go to, you will see a notice stating the site is invalid. When Keleher visited that site Sunday, she said she saw something different.
Keleher, 37, of Burt, N.Y., called Angleton police and said there was a video of a pit bull mauling a cat on the popular community Web site, officers said.
“It’s quite disturbing with someone so young,” Keleher said. “I was frustrated because I knew the dog was going to pay the price.”
The video, which was not available on the site late Tuesday, shows a brown pit bull dog attacking an orange stray cat. The cat is tied to the bumper of a truck while the dog continues to bite at its neck until the cat stops moving.

Roanoke woman treated for rabies after attack by cat

Had the cat been kept indoors this elderly woman would never have been forced to fight for her life!
Bleeding from three bites and wearing only the housecoat she had on to retrieve her newspaper, an elderly woman upended an attacking, rabies-crazed cat in the street in front of her home and, with her hand tight around its tail, beat the feline into submission against a nearby utility pole.
Isabelle Blankenship said turning the black and white stray cat into a club and "beating the devil out of it" was what saved her from further injury Friday morning in a bizarre assault in front of stunned neighbors. Authorities said Monday that an examination of the deceased animal revealed the presence of rabies.
"The cat came from nowhere and jumped on me," said Blankenship, 85. "We fought for a while. I think I must have won."

Pit bulls attack SUV in search for cat

This is another great reason to keep your cat indoors!
We've all heard stories about pit bulls attacking people but have you ever seen one attack a SUV?
If you have ever doubted the power of a pit bull bite, Mitchell Stevens has the proof on his SUV.
"It was very loud and very vicious," he said.
"The teeth marks went all the way through the wheel shroud - this is a pretty thick shroud. If you put your hand under here you can see they went all the way through."
Stevens encountered two full grown pit bulls attacking his SUV parked on the driveway.
The dogs' teeth shredded two fenders and their claws scratched the paint in an attempt to get to the family's cat who was hidden in the engine.

Why Allowing Cats Outdoors is Hazardous to Cats, Wildlife and Humans

Outdoor cats, even otherwise well cared-for cats, face an extraordinary array of dangers. According to The Humane Society of the United States, free-roaming cats typically live less than five years, whereas cats kept exclusively indoors often 1ive to 17 or more years of age.
Cars - Cars kill millions of cats each year in the United States and maim countless others, either from being hit or from crawling inside the hood of a car to get warm in the winter. Automobile accidents also occur as drivers attempt to avoid hitting a cat in the road.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

American Bird Conservancy Report Documents Top 20 Most Threatened Bird Habitats

Remember, any time the habitat pressure goes up it makes the unnatural predation of feral cats that much more threatening to our wildlife!

Seen at A D.C. Birding Blog
Multi-Billion Dollar Benefit of Bird Watching at Risk
(Washington, DC) -- Significant portions of the American landscape are no longer providing adequate habitat for many native bird species, according to the Top 20 Most Threatened Bird Habitats in the United States, a new report by American Bird Conservancy (ABC). ABC’s report is available online at
“Millions of Americans love to watch birds, whether on organized outings or in their own backyards,” said George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy. “Without action to conserve these dwindling habitats, there will be fewer and fewer bird species for everyone to enjoy.”
John L. Trapp was so kind as to link to our humble blog. We reciprocated immediately and you can find his link among the birding blogs to your right, as well as here. Birds Etcetera (aka Bird Stuff) He is an avid birder as well as a professional Wildlife Biologist. Please pay his fine site a visit; you will be glad you did. :-)

Abandoning a domestic animal into the wild is not being kind!

Cat enablers! Enabling feral cats to starve, get run over, or killed by dogs is showing them compassion and being humane? How about showing some compassion for the billion birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians they kill each year? Where's your compassion for those of us who don't want cat excrement and urine in and on our property?

ILLINOIS STYLE: Researchers track parasite in feral cats

So they're embarking on a study of free-ranging cats near the UI's South Farms. The study might tell them not only where the felines go, but when and how often. It also might reveal the frequency with which the roving cats cross paths with livestock and wildlife such as migratory birds, not to mention with people.
That's of particular interest, in part, because cats are the "definitive host" of a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, natural history survey scientist Nohra Mateus-Pinilla said. Which is to say that cats are the only animal known to provide a home for the parasite during its reproduction cycle, said Mateus-Pinilla, a veterinary wildlife epidemiologist and a principal investigator on two cat studies planned this year.
In addition to the South Farms research, a related project will examine free-ranging cats in the UI's Allerton Park near Monticello, providing the first look at their impact on the spread of Toxoplasma gondii to wildlife in a natural area.

What is "kind" about enabling the predation of our wildlife?

Feral cats do not "coexist peacefully with the community." Please don't fall for this being kind. Feral cats and their enablers are pushing America's natural fauna to extinction.They kill our natural wildlife and starve out our natural predators because "well meaning" people are feeding them. Domestic animals do not belong outdoors. Where is the compassion in this?

A feral cat colony "success" story!

The only solution to this is a vigorous program of euthanasia.

The Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW), one of the first groups to develop a TNR program, reports long term results of different colonies in England.
Nine of the original 19 cats of one colony either disappeared or were killed or euthanized because of illness, while 17 new cats entered the territory. This colony grew by eight cats despite the deaths of almost half the original colony.
In another colony, the number of feral cats rose from 70-80 to 100 in one year, even though the number of feeders dropped to only one person. During the six and one-half years that this colony was watched, 40 kittens were "homed" and 200 cats neutered. Reports on other colonies tell the same story: large numbers of original members vanish or die and new cats come in on their own or are dumped there by people.

The Effects of Free-ranging Cats on Birds in Wisconsin:

Studies in Wisconsin and elsewhere indicate that free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) pose a threat to birds and other wildlife.

In Wisconsin, concern about free-ranging cats was first highlighted in the mid 1990’s, when a study by Coleman and Temple attempted to study predation by free-ranging cats on birds in rural locations across the state. Extrapolating the results from this study indicated that millions of birds were being killed annually in Wisconsin by cats. Because of the difficulty in studying any species living outdoors across the entire state, the exact number of birds killed annually by free-ranging cats will never be fully enumerated. However, over the past decade additional studies in the Midwest and elsewhere have suggested similar problems with cat predation on birds and should alert us to the fact that free-ranging cats are killing large numbers of birds in Wisconsin each year. Moreover, other studies have shown that cats in some habitats may be directly competing with native avian predators, such as American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus) and Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) for prey. Finally, in some habitats and locales even very low cat depredation could negatively impact the breeding success and survival of a species, especially if that species is rare or endangered.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hunters, I'm one of you, working to preserve our birds.

Hunters, I'm one of you, and also a birder working to preserve all our birds and wildlife. Managed hunting is good conservation, and hunter's organizations and license fees fund conservation and habitat restoration. Birders and hunters can work together for our common goal. Let's all work together to get cats indoors through cooperation with other groups and enforcement of our wildlife protection laws. This task will take activism to defeat those working to legalize feral cat colonies!
What we have to do is get organized and get vocal!
Here's your contacts for the United States House of Representatives
and United States Senate. Please write them and send them a strong message to enforce our laws protecting our wildlife!

Here's the The Wildlife Society and American Bird Conservancy statements which you can quote.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Why I Broke One of My 'Cardinal' Rules

I first heard about this story at our good friend's Birdfreak Birding Blog. It seems Walda Cameron grew irritated at a male northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, for fluttering outside a window of her home. She sought out a gun store, bought a shotgun, got instructions, and after several attempts she blew the protected bird to bloody smithereens. She says she later regretted having done it, but not so much so that she didn't dress up, put her makeup on, and proudly display her weapon for a Newsweek story.
Your reaction?

Let's look at some words...

cataclysm cataclysmal cataclysmic catastrophe catastrophic catastrophically catalepsy cataleptic catatonia catatonic
Coincidence? I think not...

Feral Cat Myths: Cats don't kill enough birds to matter.

That 20 percent adds up to a lot of birds, according to research on free-ranging rural cats by Stanley Temple, a professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Using telephone surveys and more traditional tools of the wildlife biology trade like radio collars Temple came up with a "most reasonable estimate" that cats annually kill at least 7.8 million birds in Wisconsin alone.
That's a lot of flying feathered objects. In summer, Temple says, about 19 million birds produce 16 million young in Wisconsin, for a total of 35 million birds. If, as he calculates, cats kill about 3.3 million birds in the summer, that accounts for almost 10 percent of the summer population.
Ground-nesting species like meadowlarks -- already under pressure for other reasons -- are particularly vulnerable. But Temple observes that the problem extends beyond birds, since cats are also pressuring rare species like the marsh rabbit of Key West, and more common but harmless mammals like field mice and meadow voles.

Here's a picture of a typical feral cat...

feral cat

Rabid cat blamed for second attack

A rabid cat apparently attacked more than one person before it was captured and euthanized.
The Roanoke Health Department now says a person was bitten in the face last Thursday. This newly-reported attack happened in the same Northwest Roanoke neighborhood as an attack on Friday.
The health department is focusing on Morwanda Street, near the Roanoke-Salem line. The cat was caught after Friday's attack and the health department has canvassed the neighborhood.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

West Concord Police Chief Charged

Yeah, leave a cat running loose around this policeman!
One week after they became aware of the investigation, West Concord residents are getting some answers about their police chief.
This afternoon a felony charge was filed against Chief Robert Utech for shooting cats.
People in West Concord have been wondering what was going on with the cities' police chief since a search warrant was executed on his home and the police offices last week.

It's raining cats and ... cats

The controversy about dogs attacking cats in Sanford continues to grow. William Beem wrote about this in his Sanford blog. Today's Sentinel shares that cat owners are mad that Sanford is now trapping cats. They say that the traps lure cats out of their yards and into traps where they are terrorized by dogs until released.
That may be true, but the story overlooks one very important aspect: Seminole County has an epidemic of feral cats - yes, wild cats whose owners have let them go. Worse, they reproduce at tremendous rates.
Our small neighborhood of 148 homes has no less than 20 of these cats. Don't just blame wild dogs. We've seen these cats act in small packs to set up and attack other cats, wild and owned. My husband witnessed an unfortunate event in the treetops when a small cat was attacked by a raccoon. It did not escape with its life and there was nothing that could be done.
More of the Story

Feral beasts threaten lemurs in Madagascar

The lemurs of Madagascar are among the world's most threatened primates. Extensive habitat destruction, hunting, and the introduction of alien species have doomed dozens of species to extinction since humans first arrived on the island within the past 2000 years. Most of the casualties were Madagascar's largest lemurs -- today the biggest lemur is but a fraction of the gorilla-sized giants that once ruled the island.
Despite this relative impoverishment of megafauna, Madagascar still boasts nearly 90 kinds of lemurs, all of which are unique to the island (save one species that was probably introduced to some nearby islands). Lemurs display a range of unusual behaviors from singing like a whale (the indri) to sashaying across the sand like a ballet dancer (the sifaka). Interest in lemurs has helped Madagascar become a global conservation priority, though they are still at risk. Continued deforestation, scattered hunting, and looming climate change all pose significant threats to some lemur populations. One largely unexamined threat comes from introduced species such as the Indian civet and mongoose, but especially dogs and cats that have become feral.

Warm weather translates to more kittens

The recent spate of unseasonably warm temperatures have led to what seems to be an extended breeding cycle for some feral cats -- meaning a bump in the local kitten population and full cages at several local shelters and rescue groups.
So many new kittens have come into the Long Island Humane and Dog Protective Association, a private, no-kill animal shelter in Freeport, that the shelter has had to turn away callers wanting to bring in kittens for adoption.
"We have just been inundated with calls" about kittens, said Maria Cross, one of the shelter's workers. "Usually, by November, December, it ends. It just hasn't this year."

The Cat in the Trap (A brilliant poem on another blog. :-))

The Cat in the Trap A brilliant poem on another blog. :-)

Cat Apologists Rhetoric: Bird Advocates want to eliminate all outside cats!

Our answer: Yes, and your point is? Anyone who has a valid reason domesticated cats should be allowed untended in our ecosystem is invited to apply here.

Cat Apologists Rhetoric: Human's actions kill more birds than cats do.

That is true, yes. It in no way excuses those humans guilty of enabling feral cats to kill an estimated one billion birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians each year.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


She says wild cats have a profound effect on the environment. They can upset the ecological balance of a field or a neighborhood by killing off birds and other wildlife. They can also carry feline leukemia and other diseases. Liska says euthanizing un-adoptable felines is the most compassionate approach.
“Cats living out in the streets equals suffering. I mean, they are suffering. They don’t have proper food sources. They’re exposed to the weather and they’ve got the danger of being attacked, injured or killed by other wildlife, especially when they’re fighting for the same ecological niches. The cats absolutely are in competition with possums, skunks, and raccoons, and raccoons can grow quite large and be quite aggressive and we know that they kill cats that come, that get in their way.”
But Liska also says the growing number of wild cats shows the current approach isn’t working. She wants to raise more money to fund new animal control programs. But she’s not finding a lot of support for a tax to do that among Michigan’s politicians.

Legal and ethical problems for veterinarians who participate (in TNR)

Dr. David Jessup, a senior wildlife veterinarian for the state of California, said in addition to the potential environmental damage caused by feral and free-roaming cats, there may legal and ethical problems for veterinarians who participate.
Dr. Jessup said many of the programs do not follow the AVMA guidelines on TNR programs. Some TNR groups keep colonies in public areas or areas designated as wildlife sanctuaries, which may be illegal. Also, by treating a cat and re-releasing it, a veterinarian may be violating anti-abandonment laws.
"Eventually, it's going to end in lawsuits against veterinarians and veterinary associations," he said.
Potential public health risks created by cat colonies were mentioned, particularly, the risk of the colonies becoming reservoirs of zoonotic diseases such as rabies and toxoplasmosis.
Finally, Dr. Jessup questioned the quality of life of feral and free-ranging cats that have an 80 percent morbidity rate and often die from trauma.
"Who would tolerate a client with many cats and an 80 percent morbidity rate year after year?" he asked.


Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association-Euthanasia is estimated to be more effective at reducing cat populations

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Free-roaming cat populations have a high intrinsic growth rate, and euthanasia is estimated to be more effective at reducing cat populations than trap-neuter-return programs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1871–1876)

Feral Cat Myths: Feral cats have about the same lifespan as pet cats

The average lifespan of a homeless cat is only two years (Los Angeles SPCA). Unaltered females tend to live out their lives in a constant state of breeding, and unaltered males inherently fight for and mark their territories.

Feral Cat Myth: Keeping cats indoors during the day reduces its kills

Cats should be indoors at all times, of course!
The number of mammals brought home per cat was lower when cats were equipped with bells or kept indoors at night, however, the number of herpetofauna brought home was greater when cats were kept in at night. The outcome of this is that there appears to be a subjective choice to be made as to whether it is more important to protect herpetofauna or mammals.


Nowhere along the Pacific coast is the problem as acute as in San Francisco Bay, where several national wildlife refuges spotted along the perimeter of the intensely urban shoreline face problems from feral cats and the non-native eastern red fox, an alien species introduced to California in the last century. Locally these predators threaten at least three imperiled ground-nesting birds and an endangered mammal -- the California clapper rail, the California least tern, the western snowy plover, and the salt marsh harvest mouse.
Wildlife biologist Joy Albertson of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge noted the declines in clapper rail populations due to cats and foxes as she studied predators in south San Francisco Bay during academic investigations in the early 1990's. The clapper rail, a secretive denizen of the salt marsh, is found nowhere else in the world except San Francisco Bay tidal marshes. One clapper rail, fitted with a radio telemetry device as part of the research study, was, itself, killed by a feral cat, and biologists continue to observe cats frequently stalking rails in area marshes.
Sightings in 1991 in a marsh complex managed cooperatively with the City of Palo Alto detected either one or two cats in the marsh or along levees in six of 10 nighttime surveys; by 1992, those numbers had jumped -- up to five cats in eight of 11 evening surveys. In four other marshes more distant from residential neighborhoods, however, the number of cats was lower.
Says Albertson, "Feral cats are a serious and increasing threat to endangered species in the Bay area and in other urban areas where sensitive wildlife habitat is close to residential housing and pets."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

To whomever that was whose message I just deleted, what makes you think...

To whomever that was whose message I just deleted, what makes you think there are not beaucoup people out here who believe as I do and put a higher priority on our wildlife than on a feral invasive species?

Study: Cute Endangered Species Get More Attention Than Ugly Ones

This is why we have so many feral cats. Nobody wants them in their home, but they're "cute".

It could be their immaculate fashion sense or maybe it's that sweet, wobbly gait, but there's no denying penguins are, well, adorable.
Like the rest of their cuddly class — the pandas, koalas, seals and bunnies — they help sell greeting cards and animated movies by tugging at our heartstrings.
But research shows our fondness for particular animals could have detrimental effects on preservation efforts.


Where is her compassion for our native wildlife her cats kill? When will she demand humane treatment for them? Who wants 36 cats in their parking lot? I certainly don't!
A Fredericksburg woman has been given an eviction notice after being asked to stop feeding a colony of feral cats.
Dolly Beszterczey, who has lived at the Monticello Square apartment complex on Cowan Boulevard since 1999, found a note on the ground in front of her door Tuesday giving her 30 days to vacate her apartment.
Its two sentences don't give a reason for the eviction, but seven days earlier, Beszterczey got a note from the same property manager.
It said that if she didn't stop feeding the approximately three dozen cats living around the property, she would be asked to leave.


Robert Wilson Pledges $1 Million to Halt Bird Extinctions

A mere drop in the bucket, but it will help.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its partners seeking to acquire habitat for endangered and declining bird species received a major boost with the announcement of a $900,000 challenge grant and $100,000 for other conservation work from New York philanthropist Robert Wilson.
“We are thrilled by the huge opportunity Robert Wilson’s foresight and dedication presents for conserving the world’s rarest bird species,” said George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy. “With the average cost to acquire land in South America only $100 per acre, this generous challenge grant means many more imperiled bird species will have a permanent place to call home.”
This year alone, ABC and its partners have so far protected 28 tracts of land in Central and South America that provide core habitat for more than 700 species of birds, including four that are globally endangered, the Santa Marta Parakeet, Jocotoco Antpitta, Black-breasted Puffleg, and Long-whiskered Owlet. The sites also provide key wintering habitat for dozens of migratory songbird species including the Cerulean and Golden-winged Warblers. Mr. Wilson has asked for a 3:1 match for his gift, to leverage additional support and encourage others to participate in this critical land acquisition campaign.

Bird extinctions may quicken-Loss of habitat, warming, cats are all factors

Uh, the last time I noticed cats weren't threatened with extinction, were they?
A group of renowned biologists say if nothing's done, birds could go extinct 50 times faster, eliminating about 1,200 species by century's end.
The reasons: habitat destroyed by development, global warming and invasive species -- especially your cat.
"If we lose species -- parrots, toucans -- our world will be a poorer place," said Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University.
His fears are supported by a U.S. study, released just last week, that showed 30 North American shorebird species on pace to decline by 36 percent in the next 20 years.

Endangered Shorebirds Killed by Feral Cats

Can you give me one good reason why there is a feral cat feeding station near Hampton Beach?

Two endangered piping plover chicks orphaned in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, were released this week at Scarborough Beach, Maine, by Maine Audubon, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The chicks were orphaned the day after they hatched in mid-July, when their male parent was killed by a feral cat and their female parent and a third chick died shortly afterwards from injuries inflicted by a cat. There is a feral cat feeding station near Hampton Beach.
"Cats in the wild present a danger to wildlife. In a fragile ecosystem with endangered birds like plovers, cats can have a disastrous impact on the population," said John Kanter, coordinator of N.H. Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program.
The three orphaned chicks and their injured mother were brought by N.H. Fish and Game to the Center for Wildlife in York, Maine, the rehabilitation facility closest to the nesting site. The female and one chick died the first night; the two surviving chicks were taken to a rehabilitation specialist in Bridgton, Maine, where they were cared for until their release earlier this week.

Hunter kitties, threatened birds

Colo. hasn’t measured effect of cat predation on small animals
Domestic cats threaten bird species nationwide, but state wildlife officials can’t say why no one has ever measured hunter kitties’ impacts in Colorado.
In May 2006, the American Bird Conservancy published a study reporting that free-roaming cats — outdoor domestic cats and feral felines alike — kill hundreds of millions of birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians each year in the United States. The study estimated that more than 90 million pet cats and about as many stray and feral cats live in the country. Worldwide, domestic cats have gobbled 33 bird species into extinction since the 1600s, the study reports.
While wildlife biologists acknowledge that cats and other non-native species are the
second-leading cause of bird population declines nationwide — habitat loss from human development is by far the leading cause — campaigns to keep cats indoors don’t rank high on Colorado’s priority list.

The endangered bird list

The endangered bird list. Why, oh why, is it so very long?

Monday, February 5, 2007

Rabid Cats

My point is had these cats been indoors human lives would not have been endangered.
Health officials are warning of a rabid cat that attacked a woman in Roanoke.
It happened Friday on Morwanda Street, Northwest, near the Roanoke-Salem line. The Roanoke City Health Department says the black and white cat was captured and euthanized. The woman it attacked is being treated for rabies.

Rabid cat kills man in Himachal
A man bitten by a house cat in a Himachal Pradesh village has died of full-blown rabies.

Officials issue rabies alert
The Rensselaer County Health Department warned area residents Thursday to be careful after a cat died from injuries caused by a rabid raccoon.

Do Feral Cats Have a Right to Live?

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Do Feral Cats Have a Right to Live? A National No Kill Standard for Feral Cats The humane movement makes many assumptions about feral cats, the quality oftheir lives, and how they should be treated. These assumptions, however, do not hold up under scrutiny and result in treating feral cats in ways that are in direct conflict with principles that should guide policies of shelters and animal welfare groups—principles which we advocate on behalf of other animals. This article analyzes those assumptions in order to distill what those fundamental principles should be as it relates to the “cousin” of the most popular pet in America—the feral cat. hey were revered as gods by the ancient Egyptians, persecuted as demons in the Europe of the Middle Ages, and have been watched over by dedicated caretakers for as long as written text prevails. No one knows how many there are, or even exactly how to define them. They live in our barns, behind restaurants, in old warehouses, wherever they can find a modicum of shelter, some scraps of food, and a place to bear their young. They are especially common wherever there are transient populations of people: on college campuses, military bases, apartment complexes, and tourist destinations.In the lexicon of animal sheltering, they are called “feral cats.” Popularly, they are known as “barn cats,” “alley cats” or “wild cats.” Webster's dictionary defines feral as “having escaped from domestication and become wild,” but this definition does not cover all the cats we know as feral. Cats in our society occupy a spectrum that runs from the cherished pet to ferals who may have had little or no human contact or support. Some of these elusive felines were born in parks and alleyways and will never become accustomed to people. Others may be marginally “owned” living in someone’s backyard, garage, or barn, or traveling fromdoorstep to doorstep in search of food and occasional shelter.Whatever one calls them, they have a rich and noble history. The oldest known feral cat colony, dating back several hundred years, sits in London’s Fitzroy Square, and inspired T.S. Elliott’s famous poems that in turn inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” the longest running musical in Broadway history. A visit to the Coliseum in Rome may be inspired by a love of history, but the visit will teach you more about feral cats and the T P.O. Box 74926 San Clemente, CA 92673
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 2 - people who feed and care for them—who outnumber the tourists there—than about the great emperors of yore. Some feral cats even come with an Ivy League-caliber pedigree. Hundreds of feral cats living on the campus of Stanford University are cared for and fed daily by the University’s prestigious faculty. In some parts of Italy, feral cats have a right to live where they are born, regardless of human property rights. In other parts of the world, these cats are part of a “live and let live” culture, sharing the urban landscape with all kinds of creatures, from pigeons to people—and assuming the inevitable risks and benefits, joys and hardships that comewith living on earth. In the U.S., however, feral cats have historically been seen as a “nuisance” and were trapped en masse and taken to local shelters where they were routinely killed. This point of view was unleashed with such vehemence by traditional shelters, that the largest humane organization in the country at one time even advocated the arrest and prosecution of those who believed—and practiced—otherwise. Why the hard-line response? Are feral cats not worthy of our compassion and protection?And should we accept their mass slaughter in U.S. animal shelters?Should Feral Cats Be Killed? The answer historically has been “yes.” For much of our movement’s history, feral cats were referred to as “filthy,” “vicious,” and “fractious,” spared no quarter, even by those claiming to be their “advocates.” As one proponent once said, “Ownerless animals must be destroyed. It is as simple as that.” And unfortunately for the cats, it was as simple asthat. But not anymore. The last three decades have seen the meteoric rise of one of the most innovative and ethical programs to end the mass killing of cats in animal shelters. Indeed, in terms ofeffectiveness in reducing impounds, deaths and unnecessary suffering, a feral cat assistance program based on the principles of trap, neuter, return (“TNR”) is moving beyond controversy or comment. The acceptance of TNR is increasing across all sectors in animal welfare, animal rights, No Kill and animal control circles. TNR proclamations are being endorsed by agencies, health departments, local governments, and by entire communities. There are those who belong to groups mired in the animal sheltering methods—and failures—of the past; who continue to unfairly blame the cats for perceived decimation of birds and wildlife based on shoddy science and the misleading pronouncements of nativist organizations; who claim that TNR perpetuates suffering based on mistruths; and, who continue to regurgitate clichés about all cats belonging in homes. But their view, and their tenure, is disappearing. In the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, staff at one of the largest humane organizations in the country coined the phrase "subsidized abandonment" to describe feral cat programs. One of their regional directors called TNR an "inhumane act". When a local
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 3 - rescue group turned to them for help in saving their feral colonies, not only did they refuse, but their attorney encouraged the local prosecutor to file criminal charges against the caretakers arguing that TNR was a violation of animal cruelty laws covering abandonment—a crime which carried a jail sentence. They are not publicly making those claims anymore. In terms of acceptance of TNR, we have, indeed, come a long way. That does not mean we can sit back and declare victory. Only that victory is inevitable.But what does that victory look like? In other words, are we doing all we should for feral cats? Are we adequately expressing their most basic rights? And have we set down a standard by which to measure No Kill success when it comes to feral cats? In order to dothat, we have to understand why shelters say they are killing them in the first place and in the process, we have to challenge some of the erroneous beliefs about feral cats held by even TNR advocates. Shelters which advocate the killing of feral cats generally fall into one of two camps: • For those who support TNR, they believe that a feral cat is a domestic animal who cannot survive in the wild without human intervention. In their view, unless there is a caretaker, the cat should be killed.• For those who oppose TNR, they believe that even with human care, feral cats still live a life of misery and suffering and should therefore be killed with or without a caretaker. But is either of these beliefs accurate? To find out, to get a clear and honest portrayal of the life of feral cats, we must first answer the basic question of what exactly a feral cat is. What is a feral cat? If the question seems obvious, it is only because we have become so conditioned to the notion that it appears to be beyond controversy. Webster’s dictionary defines “feral” as “having escaped domestication and become wild,” but this definition does not cover all the cats we come to know as feral. Nor does it get us closer to devising a humane strategy—if necessary—to address their population. To do that, we need to know what kind of question we are asking. Is it a biological question? In other words, we know that all cats—feral or pet—are genetically identical to the African wildcat, a wild animal by everyone’s definition. So if the feral cat is biologically the same as a wild animal, isn’t the unsocialized feral cat born on a remote corner of a farm and never becomes accustomed to people a wild animal? Biologically the answer is yes. Or perhaps the question is one of socio-behavior. If we determine that feral cats are capable of surviving and thriving in the wild by exhibiting behavior we attribute to wild animals like raccoons do we conclude that they are wild animals? By the same token, if we determine that cats in the wild are disproportionately suffering more than animals we all agree are wild animals, can we conclude that cats should no longer be considered wild
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 4 - animals? Does a caretaker change the calculus? Whether these are the right questionsmight be less important than their answers. The studies of feral cat colonies by British naturalist Roger Tabor prove that feral cats are truly hardy survivors. And the arguments by U.S. shelters reaffirm this. Traditional shelters are fond of telling us that feral cats are the offspring of domestic cats who have run away and become lost or have been abandoned by people. If this is true, then the abandoned pets are thriving, to the tune of 100 million feral cats estimated bysome. In other words, feral cats are doing all right out there. All right to the point that if you believe traditional shelters, they are multiplying at the rate of 420,000 every sevenyears for every two unaltered pairs (a ridiculous exaggeration whose sole purpose is to underscore the point here). That is a lot of cats, proving that when it comes to food and sex, the great outdoors is, well, great. Take the wildest cat and he can learn to live around humans and may even exhibit pet-like behavior to the person who feeds him. (This is a familiar site at cat colonies with feral cats who rub up against the legs of their feeders, and even perhaps purr, just like pet cats.) Take the most pampered house pet and let her loose in the wild (something No Kill Solutions would never advocate), and she can survive with the deftness of the most voracious raccoon, as Henry David Thoreau noted, writing in Walden: Once I was surprised to see a cat walking along the stony shore of the pond, for they rarely wonder so far from home. The surprise was mutual. Nevertheless the most domestic cat, which has lain on a rug all her days,appears quite at home in the woods, and, by her sly and stealthy behavior, proves herself more native there than the regular inhabitants. If that is the case, behaviorally speaking the answer again appears to be that feral cats are wild animals. If the question is one of genealogy, then the answer must be linked to parentage. So, if a pet cat is abandoned or runs off and gets lost in the woods, has kittens and the kittens grow up wild because they have no contact with people, are they wild or domestic? If the answer is domestic because of domesticated parents, then let’s take the logic to its conclusion. Let’s go further back because to stop at initial parentage is arbitrary. Let’s look at grandparents and great-grandparents and ultimately all the way back to their wild ancestors. So if the basis for the claim is genealogy, the answer again seems to be a wild animal. But since this can be said of most, if not all, animals, perhaps the real issue is not one of domestication, but rather adaptability.
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 5 - But are we even asking the right questions? In other words, when it comes to the cat, does the distinction of wild vs. domestic matter? Or, more importantly, even make sense?Every American student goes through the litany in high school biology. We are taught that all living things on this planet are categorized as follows: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. For Kingdom, we know the world is broken down further, the two main groups of which we are familiar are plants and animals. And we also know that the primary difference between the two is that plants can photosynthesize, and animals are terrestrial, in other words, can move from one location to another on their own volition (as opposed to a plant or seed which relies on birds or the wind for movement). That is how the world is broken down. Or is it? In fact it is not. The biological categorization is a map humans have developed to make sense of the world. We run into problems when we confuse the map of reality with reality itself. What happens for example, if a creature can both photosynthesize and move from one place to another? Is it a plant? Or is it an animal? It may be neither, or it may be both. In fact, creatures in this category occupy a gray zone (now its own kingdom Protoctista which is neither plant, animal, fungus or bacteria), a glorious example of the complexity of the world or, poetically, the world trying to tell us that she is infinitely more complex than our zest for neat little categorizations can always comprehend. “Science is a process, not an end,” wrote the columnist Jeff Elliott. “We get into trouble when we think that it can provide us with simple, conclusive explanations to describe a complex world.” Add the cat to that mix. It too is neither a wild animal nor a domestic one. Desmond Morris, a curator for mammals at the London Zoo, who spent much of his youth watching cats on the farm where he grew up, describes it best: The cat leads a double life. This switch from tame pet to wild animal and then back again is fascinating to watch. Any cat owner who has accidentally come across the pet cat when it is deeply involved in some feline soap opera of sex and violence will know what I mean. One instant the animal is totally wrapped up in an intense drama of courtship or status. Then out of the corner of its eye, it spots its human owner watching the proceedings. There is a schizoid moment of double involvement, a hesitation, and the animal runs across, rubs against its owner’s leg, and becomes the house kitten once more… It is like a child that grows up in a foreign country and as a consequence becomes bilingual. The cat becomes bi-mental. If the answer to what exactly is a feral cat eludes simple definition, their hardiness as survivors does not. And therefore, neither does the question of how a shelter should respond to them.
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 6 - How Should the Humane Community Treat Feral Cats? Ignoring biology, sociology, genealogy, common experience and good sense, to shelters mired in traditional philosophies, a cat is a cat is a cat. Regardless of whether the cat is the most beloved and pampered pet or the wildest outcast, to these groups cats are domestic animals who belong in a home. And in their view, the feral cat without a human home is better off taken to a shelter and killed. For these groups, an unowned cat’s life is a series of brutal experiences and shelters need to protect the cat from continued and future suffering. The reality is that all animals living in the wild face hardship—and feral cats are no exception. Since no animal groups support the trapping and killing of other wild animals—raccoons, mice, fox—why do we reserve this fate for feral cats? If feral cats are genetically identical to wild animals, and they survive in the wild like wild animals, and they are unsocial to humans like wild animals, and they share the same hardships as wild animals, and if they can and do live in the wild like wild animals, shouldn’t we treat themas we do wild animals—by advocating on their behalf, pushing for their right to life, and respecting and protecting their habitats? And, more importantly, why should we condemnall of them because of the sloppy logic that some may face hardship?That the answer by opponents of TNR to how we stop the cat from being killed is to kill the cat ourselves is a contradiction that simply cannot be reconciled. But the contradiction goes deeper. Because while traditional shelters argue that all cats are the same, they themselves treat them very differently. In the shelter, the feral cat meets a deadly double-standard. Once there, a friendly cat is capable of adoption. An “unfriendly” cat, by contrast, is killed outright. The distinction between the two is real and obvious, and is made daily by the very shelter professionals who make the claim that all cats are the same and require the same things in order to lead happy, healthy lives. That is why the traditional alternative to TNR, what they call “Trap-Remove-Evaluate” is nothing more than a deceptive euphemism for “Trap & Kill” when it comes to feral cats. A National No Kill Standard The No Kill movement’s break with traditional sheltering is less about saving “pet dogsand cats” and more about focusing on the individual animal. Regardless of whether a shelter takes in 30, 300, 3,000 or 30,000 dogs and cats each year, No Kill is premised on—in fact demands—fundamental fairness to individual animals. This commitment is echoed in the mission statement of virtually every humane society and SPCA in the country which claims to cherish animals, enforce their rights, and teach compassion. Yet, these lofty goals can only be achieved if we judge, treat, and devise a plan for shelter animals individually with all the resources we can muster. Implicit within the No-Kill philosophy is the understanding that some animals, such as those who are irremediably suffering or hopelessly ill, will be killed for reasons of mercy. That much we can all accept. But feral cats do not fit into this category. In its purest
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 7 - form, the No Kill gold standard is that we would never end life when that life is not suffering. And feral cats, as a general rule, are not suffering. We have surely come a long way in the world of TNR from the point of view that “ownerless animals must be destroyed. It is as simple as that.” If anything should be simple, it is this: Unless they are sick or injured, with a poor prognosis for recovery, feral cats should never be executed. Caveats about location, proximity to wildlife, landowner opinions, and local ordinances are not relevant to the life and death calculus. They may play a part in where the cat is released, but not whether he or she should die. A No Kill plan which does not thoroughly address the unique nature and needs of feral cats and preserve their lives cannot, by definition, be No Kill. A No Kill community must include a commitment to TNR. But that is only the first step. Since feral cats are the offspring of abandoned pets and are thriving, and since—as a general rule—feral cats are entering shelters relatively healthy and robust, then it is clear that they are doing well, with or without a caretaker. And while there are counter-examples, as there are with all animals, this is no reason to enact an unreasonable double standard for feral cats since we do not advocate death for all friendly stray cats. Therefore, if TNR in a managed colony is not an option, the compassionate alternative is to spay/neuter and release even when there is no established feeder. If the feral cat is out there and appears healthy, we may intervene to spay/neuter to allow feral cats to be better able to thrive without the biological demands of mating or raising litters. If that too is not an option, they should be released in another safe place, first with a caretaker but without one if need be the way we would if a raccoon or other wild animal could no longer safely remain in a particular location. Finally, if TNR is not an option in any form, the shelter should not accept feral cats, a course of action no different than a shelter’s refusal to accept and kill a raccoon or other wild animal because the relinquisher does not want the animal crossing his yard. It is not ethical to kill healthy feral cats under any circumstances any more so than we would kill healthy raccoons, foxes, deer, horses, pigeons or cows. In the end, a community’s definition of No Kill has to be one where no healthy dog orcat, no sick or injured but treatable dog or cat, and—without question or compromise—where no healthy or treatable feral cat is killed. Anything short of that, and the No Kill movement would be sweeping feral cats under the rug—and would, in fact, not be NoKill. Feral Cat Rights Some groups have cautiously supported TNR in some circumstances and so long as certain conditions have been met—if the landowner agrees, if there is shelter, if there is no wildlife predation, if the climate is temperate, if there is a feeder 365 days a year, if there is licensing, if all the cats are vaccinated regularly. Even some No Kill shelters have adopted some of these preconditions to the support of TNR. But the true No Kill position is that while some of these factors may or may not be important for other reasons, they are utterly irrelevant for purposes of supporting TNR.
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No Kill Solutions June 2005 A National Feral Cat No Kill Standard ________________________________________________________________________- 8 - From the No Kill position, the rights of feral cats are self-evident. These may not be legal rights, but they are fundamental to the No Kill position. And they include the right to life and the right to live in their habitats. And the right to have the animal welfare community fight to protect both. This position is no different than our views about habitat protection for raccoons and other animals. And that is why our approach to TNR must include a platform which promotes the right of feral cats to their habitat, wherever that may be, and a right to their very existence, independent of their relationship to humans. They are animals who share our communities and whose needs must be accommodated. After all, it’s their world too. Caught Between Two Worlds. Just like feral cats occupy a unique niche between wild and domestic, they also occupy a gray zone in the law. For many cats, their status as “domestic” animals means certain death in shelters. But wild animals tend to fare little better. In those states where it is allowed, wildlife is subjected to trapping, poisoning and hunting, particularly if they are an unprotected species. Feral cats, in essence, are caught between two anachronistic world views. If they are legally domestic, they are subject to mass slaughter in shelters by the humane movement. If they are legally wild, they are subject to killing by hunting, trapping, and poisoning. The feral cat, in this case, is a grim reminder of how far we have yet to go—as a humane movement and as a society. No Kill Solutions P.O. Box 74926 San Clemente, CA 92673

The no kill cat advocates want humane, compassionate treatment for feral cats?

The no kill cat advocates want humane, compassionate treatment for feral cats? I reserve most of my concern for humane, compassionate treatment for humans. Secondarily, my concern is for the survival of the wildlife in our ecosystems. Domestic animals are furthest down my list, but still make it.
What we are faced with is an exponentially growing feral cat problem. Someone is going to have to cowboy up and act responsibly, you know, act like adults. Do they think anyone believes their assertions are right and the top biologists and ecologists in America are wrong? Where is their compassion for our vanishing wildlife?
Just as global warming is now being seen as a true threat it is time to bring our feral cat problem out into the open. I won't stand by and watch our wildlife treated as second best and a feral domestic pest given preferential treatment. Will you?

Operation Migration- Remembering the Class of 2006

The Operation Migration site is Remembering the Class of 2006 They're making a fine effort to continue after the terrible loss of 17 young Whooping Cranes. Please help them with your financial support, if you can.

Pictures, Birdfreaks Team has bird pictures!

Our good friends of the Birdfreak Birding Blog Team are once again showing their dedication to birding and their generous spirit. They've built a bird picture gallery at Flickr to hold the hundreds of pictures they've amassed over the years. In their words these pictures are "FREE to Share -- to copy, distribute, display these photos."
They also say "If you wish, you can attribute the picture(s) to this group (a link to it would be nice) and help promote other photographers to add to the collection."
I'll certainly be taking them up on their offer, and hope you'll participate as well. I appreciate this very much as I do all their efforts. Oh yes, here's their link!
Birdfreak's Free Bird Gallery!