Tuesday, February 6, 2007

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.

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