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environmental impact of dogs and cats

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suze
782019.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:28 pm Reply with quote

It turns out that the subject of the damage done by feral cats in Australia is a rather controversial one. A lot of the "blame" which has been attached to feral cats probably belongs actually to foxes - when Western Australia had a deliberate policy of trapping foxes but not cats, numbers of various small mammals increased quite sharply. (Abbot, 2002)

What's more, one of the things that feral cats do is perceived as a benefit in much of Australia - they kill rabbits. And only one species of bird - the Paradise parrot, Psephotus pulcherrimus - has gone extinct on the Australian mainland since European settlement, and that event is not generally blamed on cats (more on humans, in fact).


As for the UK, well the RSPB quotes figures which reckon that 275 million animals per year are killed by cats. Most of these are birds (and it is noted that the species most often taken by cats are not in decline) and mice (especially house mice, which most people consider a pest).

These figures include pet cats, and I can't immediately find any which consider only feral cats. I'd expect the main victims still to be birds, mice, and rabbits, although there was a press report a couple of years back about a bunch of feral cats attacking a dog.

As for feral dogs, they are practically unknown in the UK.

 
Arcane
782155.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:43 pm Reply with quote

[quote="suze"]It turns out that the subject of the damage done by feral cats in Australia is a rather controversial one. A lot of the "blame" which has been attached to feral cats probably belongs actually to foxes - when Western Australia had a deliberate policy of trapping foxes but not cats, numbers of various small mammals increased quite sharply. (Abbot, 2002)

What's more, one of the things that feral cats do is perceived as a benefit in much of Australia - they kill rabbits. And only one species of bird - the Paradise parrot, Psephotus pulcherrimus - has gone extinct on the Australian mainland since European settlement, and that event is not generally blamed on cats (more on humans, in fact)./quote]

Was that according to one report suze? I have never heard of that information regarding foxes, I would have to look to see what the situation is with them in Queensland. And I have also never heard of feral cats being viewed as a benefit. FWIU, there are simply far too many rabbits for the feral cats to even make a dent in the population. And it isn't also about extinction, but those species that are threatened, nor the animals directly killed, but what they spread to animals and humans (toxoplasmosis).

 
sjb
782223.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:12 pm Reply with quote

Feral pigs are what worry me. :\

 
samivel
782225.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:23 pm Reply with quote

Will Ferrell worries me.

 
sjb
782228.  Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:29 pm Reply with quote

You mean Steve Ferrell? (Thanks Daily Mail. You're always good for a laugh.)

 

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