Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A post I made regarding a TNR site.

I could not help but notice that nowhere in this article have I seen the welfare of our native wildlife mentioned. With 40 feral cats hunting on the premises there are probably a bare minimum of several hundred birds, squirrels, lizards, snakes, frogs and other animals killed by them each year. Has no one showed concern for them?

When Invasives Go Bad. Really Bad.

Cool Green Science
The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy

More Birds At Risk

This Time in Hawaii: Recent environmental monitoring by USGS scientists has revealed that feral cats and other non-native predators are threatening the palila, an endangered Hawaiian forest bird. The palila is a Hawaiian honeycreeper with a gray back, yellow breast, yellow head and finch-like beak. Fewer than 5,000 of these birds exist today. The scientists discovered that feral cats kill chicks in about 10 percent of palila nests found on Mauna Kea Volcano each year. Surveillance video and other techniques have shown feral cats to be the most damaging bird predator on Mauna Kea, but non-native rats and mongooses also prey on palila and their eggs. These predation pressures slow recovery of the endangered palila and other native Hawaiian birds. USGS scientists are developing techniques to help managers reduce threats from these invaders.

Feral Cat - Felis catus

Feral Cat - Felis catus
Florida's Nonnative Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: Unknown

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 67 counties At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Unknown status

Threats to natives: Feral cats prey on native birds, small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Cats, including unrestrained pets, can be very efficient predators on native species. Cats are important predators of beach mouse populations throughout most of their range in Florida. Feral or free-ranging cats have introduced feline panleucopenia virus into populations of bobcats and Florida panthers. They can also transmit rabies.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Top Bird Blogs at birdfreak.com

Get on it, Birders. These people are dedicated Birders, intent on conservation and educating young folks on becoming good citizens!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hunters, Birders, 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.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cat shot 27 times - and lives

Keep your pets indoors where they are safe!
THE relentless torture of a pet cat that was shot 27 times at point-blank range in the head and neck with an air rifle has outraged animal welfare authorities.
Possum, a two-year-old male domestic cat, somehow survived shocking cruelty after cowards trapped him in a cage about 9pm on Friday.
The gun was shoved in the animal’s face and mouth with two direct shots penetrating his tongue and lodging in his nasal cavity.

Reposting: Linked Images To Bird Advocates Blog

Fellow bird advocates and ecologists, the old adage "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true. Our logo is self explanatory, it depicts cat attacks on birds being prohibited. We would like that message to be seen around the world, and we need your help to do it.
If you have a blog or forum, please link to us, and/or post one of our linked logos if you can. Some of you may not know HTML, so I'm providing a link at the bottom of this post to my Yahoo site where I was able to post the raw HTML. I have several sizes for your selection. We reserve the artistic rights to each of them, but we authorize other bird advocates and ecologists to use them to link here.
Anything, absolutely anything you can do to spread the word will help and will be appreciated.
Thank you.

Bird Advocates

Bird Advocates

Bird Advocates

Link to my Yahoo 360 site

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Your roaming kitty kills mice, moles and voles?

That "mouse" deposited on your front stoop might well be a least shrew, a star-nosed mole or some other rare and ecologically important species. In some places, cat predation is frustrating efforts to save federally endangered species, such as the piping plover, the California gnatcatcher and the Florida beach mouse.

We challenge the Birders and Ecologists!

If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem! The feral cat enablers organizations harass politicians with their TNR plans based solely on emotions.
Scientific facts (and ethics, morals, and federal law) fail to absorb into their brain when their head is at saturation point with terrified thoughts someone might harm a "fur baby."
The main problem with Audubon and other like organizations is they are prohibited from taking effective action by the large percentage of cat enablers among their members.
I firmly believe it is time we, we meaning birders and others concerned with the truth about the feral cat threat, stand up and be heard! Again, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem! Please do what you can to turn the tables on them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We challenge the feral cat enablers!

Your idealists say you are willing to move your feral cat colonies away from our endangered species? I say confine them indoors then! Everywhere outdoors in America is near endangered native birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, and most birds are migratory to one extent or another. When you abandon one cat outside, knowing it is a destructive domestic animal, you are showing you prefer their "freedom" over the lives of our native fauna!
Another Challenge: Explain how your abandoning destructive domestic animals is not unethical, immoral, and unlawful when they are suffering as well as destroying our ecology and invading others property.

Feral Cats Threaten Endangered Species


Feral Cats Threaten Endangered Species

There are some 15 million cats in Florida that spend all or part of their time outside preying on wildlife. It is estimated that cats kill as many as 271 million small mammals and 68 million birds each year in Florida, many of these members of threatened and endangered species.

As an alternative to euthanasia, many cat advocates believe in trap-neuter-release, or TNR, programs, in which feral cats are spayed or neutered and returned to colonies where caretakers look after them. While the programs aim to reduce wild cat populations, however, irresponsible pet owners continue to release unwanted cats that often join feral cat colonies.

In Florida, such colonies are known to exist in 17 counties. The largest, in Key Largo, may include as many as 1,000 cats and operates on an annual budget of $100,000. TNR programs and managing large numbers of cats in colonies do not effectively control cat overpopulation or the predation of endangered animals, the study found.

Feral Cats Facts

Feral cats feed extensively on songbirds, game birds, mice and other rodents, rabbits, and other wildlife. In doing so, they lower the carrying capacity of an area for native predators such as foxes, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, and other animals that compete for the same food base.

Where documented, their impact on wildlife populations in suburban and rural areas—directly by predation and indirectly by competition for food— appears enormous. A study under way at the University of Wisconsin (Coleman and Temple 1989) may provide some indication of the extent of their impact in the United States as compared to that in the United Kingdom, where Britain’s five million house cats may take an annual toll of some 70 million animals and birds (Churcher and Lawton 1987). Feral cats occasionally kill poultry and injure house cats. Feral cats serve as a reservoir for human and wildlife diseases, including cat scratch fever, distemper, histoplasmosis, leptospirosis, mumps, plague, rabies, ringworm, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, tularemia, and various endo- and ectoparasites.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

TNR Is Not A Solution

TNR Is Not A Solution

Cats are wonderful companion animals that have no place in our natural ecosystem. Through no fault of their own, free roaming and feral domestic cats have been allowed to cause significant impacts to the welfare of our native wildlife, human health and the environment. Individuals and organizations that promote TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) as a solution to this ever increasing epidemic are sympathetic to the cat's perils while turning a blind eye to the impact these cats have on our native species and the environment. I, for one, cannot condone this attitude towards wildlife and I strongly oppose TNR unless the cats are enclosed and not allowed to interact with wildlife.

The solution to the pet overpopulation crisis will only be realized when individuals take personal responsibility for their pets. To hasten this transformation, strict anti-roaming and mandatory spay/neuter ordinances must be enacted and enforced. Once we change people's attitudes about letting their cats roam freely outdoors, most of the battle will have been won. TNR under minds the concept of keeping cats indoors and also creates a place for irresponsible pet owners to dump their unwanted pets. If you support TNR you are indirectly supporting pet abandonment too.

TNR is a short term band-aid that makes the caregivers feel good about themselves but their feelings are genuinely misplaced. The poor cats languish in these colonies and are subjected to the elements, parasites, disease, predation and abuse. TNR colonies never disappear through natural attrition. As long as we have misguided people artificially sustaining this invasive predatory species we will always have feral and free roaming domestic cats reeking havoc on the natural environment.

I have found that TNR advocates have a hard time distinguishing between the terms feral and wild. A feral animal is a domestic animal that has been abandoned but it is still a domestic animal and belongs with and depends on humans for survival. A wild animal has evolved to live in its natural environment on its own and can live and flourish without the help of humans. To say that feral cats are wildlife and that they deserve a place in the natural ecosystem is mind boggling to me. To allow free roaming and feral cats access to our natural world is criminal and must be stopped.

TNR is nothing more than a trade off. How many wild lives must be sacrificed so that one feral cat can live? I have posed this question to many TNR supporters and not one has given me a good answer. My answer is zero. I would much rather see a feral cat humanely euthanized than to see it abandoned into a colony to kill and maim tens or hundreds of wild animals. And we all know this is what happens.

The grim fact is that humans created this problem and now we have to solve it. Placing a higher value on the life of a cat than on our native wildlife is not a solution and must not be allowed to continue.

Tim Steinbeiser
Redbud Avian Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
116 Manitee Avenue Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
(609) 538-1933

Texas Cats

Domestic(Feral Cat)

While the domestic cat has adapted itself in extraordinary fashion to man's customs, it has not altogether lost its wild traits. Often sleek, sleepy, and well-behaved by day, the cat, by night, may become a stealthy and serious predator.

In the course of a bobwhite quail experiment in East Texas, cats killed 8 quail and 10 cardinals in the experiment traps, on one occasion 6 quail at one time.

Cats also are known to catch and consume cotton rats and pocket gophers, and according to studies in Texas, cats consume Attwater's prairie chickens, meadowlarks, chicken flesh and feathers.

Friday, March 20, 2009

TNR is not a humane solution!

Americans are going to have to wake up and become more vocal and dedicated at protecting our wild life than the feral cat enablers are at allowing cats to kill them. Cats are cute, yes, but a feral cat munching on a clutch of a threatened bird species is not. Trap, neuter, release programs produce a healthier, more efficient killing machine. All they are doing is abandoning the cat and enabling them in their destruction. TNR enthusiasts claim if you remove one cat another moves in. Their meme goes against logic and the math we learned as children. There is a finite number of cats and we must remove those, too. Euthanasia of the millions of feral cats now killing billions of native animals each year is the only effective answer.

Residents tired of feral cats running around neighborhood

Residents in the El Mirador Neighborhood Association say they are fed up with feral cats in their yards.
Some say their lawns and flower beds have been ruined by cats urinating and defecating in them.

“It's just ridiculous,” resident Ron James said. “We've got people who put food out there in their front yards” for the cats.

To keep the cats away, resident Carla Bernal said she removed the grass on her lawn and replaced it with rocks. She also sprayed vinegar and pepper in her yard, but nothing has worked.

“I had words with my neighbor because he keeps feeding the cats,” Bernal said. “I have two cocker spaniels. I can't let them out until I check the yard.”

Feral cats are the offspring of lost or abandoned pet cats or other feral cats who are not spayed or neutered.

“Feral cats are a real issue,” said Dr. Douglass Kunz with Animal Medical Hospital in Palm Springs. “They wreak havoc on the environment by the way they go after endangered species.

“The worst thing people can do is feed them and encourage the population.”

Bernal said she has seen four to six feral cats around her house since she moved into the neighborhood in May. But feral cats have been a problem in the area for the past 10 years, James said.

Bernal said one of her dogs becomes sick with diarrhea for several days any time it eats feral cat fecal matter.

Feral cats can carry internal parasites, including Toxoplasmosis, that can also be threatening to humans, Kunz said. Toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriages or birth defects if contracted by pregnant women.

Some feral cat populations also carry Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. But Kunz said these cases are more prominent in areas with low health standards.

Unsuccessful in driving the cats from El Mirador neighborhood, some residents have tried other tactics. Roxanne Ploss said her neighbor feeds and traps the cats to have them spayed or neutered.

Some feral cats can be tamed, Kunz said.

But beyond efforts to trap, tame and not feed feral cats, there isn't much else other than euthanization to control the population, Kunz said.

“There's so many of us who have pets and are so torn,” Ploss said. “You don't want to see an animal hungry. You don't want to see them put down. Maybe relocated? But I really want to throttle the people who are feeding them.”

California Birding

California Birding is a site I would recommend for any birding enthusiast. Thank you.

Rabies confirmed in cat in Rockingham County

The state Laboratory of Public Health has confirmed a stray cat that bit a child in Rockingham County on March 6 has tested positive for rabies.

“I’ve been here more than 20 years, and we’ve never had a cat test positive for rabies. It’s very unusual that you have a domestic animal to test positive,” said Ted Nelson, environmental health director for Rockingham County. He said two dogs were confirmed positive for the rabies virus in separate cases two years ago.

A feral cat came out of the woods and attacked and bit a child on the left leg outside a home off Manley Farm Road in Reidsville. The child started a series of rabies prophylaxis shots Wednesday.

“The child is doing fine. We got to it quickly, so we don’t think it’s going to be a problem,” said Nelson. “If the parents hadn’t realized, it could’ve been a problem.”

The rabies virus affects the central nervous system, and untreated cases ultimately lead to death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The treatment of rabies is made up of a series of shots over a one-month period, said Nelson.

Crowd asks city to deal with ferals

The Yuma City Council obviously hasn't heard the last word on feral cats, judging by the people who packed Wednesday night's meeting to share their thoughts on the subject during the call to the public.

Since the topic wasn't on the meeting's agenda, council members by law couldn't respond. But they did get an earful from residents who appealed to the city to come up with a way to control the cat population.

"We're willing to do our part," said Norman Weingart, a resident of Magnolia Village. In the past, residents have trapped the cats but no longer can afford to since the Humane Society of Yuma began charging $20 for each cat brought in, he said.

Weingart suggested government is partly to blame for the exploding feral cat population by restricting the only two natural enemies of the cats: making it illegal for humans to kill the cats and passing dog leash laws.

Feral cats have now become not only a nuisance for residents but also a potential health hazard, he said. And they're preying on birds and small rodents that bring pleasure and keep down potentially hazardous insects.

"I hope - insist - you find a way to fix the problem," he said.

U.S. Birds Struggling to Survive Habitat Loss, Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2009 (ENS) - Nearly one-third of the more than 800 bird species in the United States are endangered, threatened or in decline due to climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species, finds the first comprehensive report ever produced on U.S. bird populations.

At a news conference in Washington today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released the report, which was developed by a partnership among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, state government wildlife agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

"Just as they were when Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring" nearly 50 years ago, birds today are a bellwether of the health of land, water and ecosystems," Salazar said. "From shorebirds in New England to warblers in Michigan to songbirds in Hawaii, we are seeing disturbing downward population trends that should set off environmental alarm bells. We must work together now to ensure we never hear the deafening silence in our forests, fields and backyards that Rachel Carson warned us about."