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Old 02-01-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Motorcycles aren't so bad for the ecosystem...

Apparently, cats are worse...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21236690

Text:
Cats killing billions of animals in the US
By Rebecca Morelle Science reporter, BBC World Service

Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each year, a study suggests.
The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.

Writing in Nature Communications, the scientists said stray and feral cats were the worst offenders.
However, they added that pet cats also played a role and that owners should do more to reduce their impact.
The authors concluded that more animals are dying at the claws of cats in the United States than in road accidents, collisions with buildings or poisonings.

The domestic cat's killer instinct has been well documented on many islands around the world.
Felines accompanying their human companions have gone on to prey on the local wildlife, and they have been blamed for the global extinction of 33 species. But their impact on mainland areas has been harder to chart.

To find out more, researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service carried out a review of studies that had previously looked at the predatory prowess of cats.

"Our study suggests that they are the top threat to US wildlife. -Dr Pete Marra SCBI

Their analysis revealed that the cat killings were much higher than previous studies had suggested: they found that they had killed more than four times as many birds as has been previously estimated.
Birds native to the US, such as the American Robin, were most at risk, and mice, shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits were the mammals most likely to be killed.

Dr Pete Marra from the SCBI said: "Our study suggests that they are the top threat to US wildlife."
The team said that "un-owned" cats, which they classified as strays, feral cats and farm cats, were killing about three times as many animals as pet cats. However, they said pet cats were still killing significant numbers of animals, and that their owners should do more to limit the impact.

Dr Marra said: "We hope that the large amount of wildlife mortality indicated by our research convinces some cat owners to keep their cats indoors and that it alerts policymakers, wildlife managers and scientists to the large magnitude of wildlife mortality caused by cat predation."

A spokeswoman for the animal welfare charity the RSPCA said that a properly fitted collar and bell could reduce a cat's success when hunting by at least a third.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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I have a house cat that I let outside on a leash - never free - Birds are smart in the fact that they recognize my cat is out and make a fuss about it - they are stupid in the fact they they will not leave the cat alone - they flutter in her face, call at her from trees and generally "Bully" her - Due to the birds actions, many have died in my back yard - she does not even have to be free to get them there birds.

It is fun to watch though - 12 crows and 4 eursian doves last week in my pine tree harssing a leashed cat - she could not have been happier....
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #3
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Oh great. I ride a dirtbike and have a cat..sorry folks for killing your world. At least our current cat is an idiot..he does spend a lot of time outside, but watching him hunt is hilarious, his actions are stealthy but he is running his mouth the whole time. Our previous cat fit into the studies focus though, he could catch anything, even brought a bunny in the house once and he would hold up well against mid sized dogs if cornered.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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I'm against people that let their cats roam around. It's your property keep it off mine. We have a cat, it stays inside, a few times I'll put him in the yard and stay right there...grass scares him so its a 5 minute deal where he runs back inside.

I mean what if people let dogs just roam around your neighborhood? Oh wait I have neighbors that do just that...open the front door and let the dog poo, pee in others yards. So considerate of these people to let their property just roam around.

So who's cats are killing other animals? Not mine.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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My cats are killing things; that's their job. At my house the cats are the only thing that keep the mice and ground squirrels from destroying everything I own. And with a case or two of Hantavirus in the Valley each year it warms me deep every time I see one walking around the garage with a field mouse. But I don't live in town, out here if they go far enough to get off the property they are dodging coyotes and owls so they learn to stick close.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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Not really relevant to this thread but funny still.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOtMizMQ6oM
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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I have a friend who lives out near Greenland, CO. He had a barn cat problem that had "multiplied" over the years. Eventually most the cats got some nasty flesh-eating bacteria/infection, zombie-style...missing eyes and ears, open wounds, like nothing I had ever seen before or since. They were leaving mounds of puss, blood, shit and piss everywhere amongst his farm equipment along with a few ones that had already succumbed to their illness. We shot all of them as humanely as we could, they were pests after all and didn't originate from his own cats. He only has coon hounds that literally ate cats for breakfast, but he didn't want his hounds eating these tainted cats. Then we burned all the bodies, almost 2 dozen, no joke. It was a pretty ridiculous experience, kind of reminded me of Hoarders (or maybe Schindler's List) except the only thing this guy did was leave his barn open a few times one summer. Within a year his barn was a cat brothel like some Pixar flick. I kind of thought maybe we should have consulted the Humane Society but it was the property owner's decision and we both knew they all would have been euthanized. We swear they had bubonic plague...there were cases of it reported in CO as late as 2006 and 2012.

...And that's my cat genocide story.

They definitely can be a problem especially when they're left to run free with their reproductive parts. Like carnivorous rabbits, really.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Myfuture_yourdebt View Post

...And that's my cat genocide story.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myfuture_yourdebt View Post
I have a friend who lives out near Greenland, CO. He had a barn cat problem that had "multiplied" over the years. Eventually most the cats got some nasty flesh-eating bacteria/infection, zombie-style...missing eyes and ears, open wounds, like nothing I had ever seen before or since. They were leaving mounds of puss, blood, shit and piss everywhere amongst his farm equipment along with a few ones that had already succumbed to their illness. We shot all of them as humanely as we could, they were pests after all and didn't originate from his own cats. He only has coon hounds that literally ate cats for breakfast, but he didn't want his hounds eating these tainted cats. Then we burned all the bodies, almost 2 dozen, no joke. It was a pretty ridiculous experience, kind of reminded me of Hoarders (or maybe Schindler's List) except the only thing this guy did was leave his barn open a few times one summer. Within a year his barn was a cat brothel like some Pixar flick. I kind of thought maybe we should have consulted the Humane Society but it was the property owner's decision and we both knew they all would have been euthanized. We swear they had bubonic plague...there were cases of it reported in CO as late as 2006 and 2012.

...And that's my cat genocide story.

They definitely can be a problem especially when they're left to run free with their reproductive parts. Like carnivorous rabbits, really.
Christ you had Ebola on the property and didn't know it!! Ever read "The Hot Zone"? scary shit
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #11
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I have a cat story..........I think. Not 100% sure yet if its a cat or not. Not nearly as good a story as the zombies, but here goes:

I occasionally find bones and assorted animal parts scattered around my back yard. My house is in the burbs and the back yard is surrounded by a six foot picket fence, so not likely to be a non-climbing animal. Initially I thought the neighbor kids were throwing chicken bones and scraps over the fence onto my property and I was going to ask my neighbor about them, but he works very odd hours and I usually only see him once a month.

Good thing I didn't talk to him right away, as I started to find things like dead snakes, bird feathers, and larger bones. Obviously not normal human food animals. Oddest thing was a spinal column with some rib remnants still attached. I think those bones were from a raccoon, which I have seen roaming the neighborhood at nights sometimes.

There is also the poo pile in one uncovered dirt corner I have. That evidence plus the paw prints and some fur in the grass makes me think its a cat. But I suppose it could also be the fox I've seen in the neighborhood on occasion. Can they climb a wood fence?

I got pretty tired of cleaning up the backyard every other day, so I bought one of those 'scare crow' sprinkler heads that has the IR motion sensing automatic valve in it. That device has worked well enough during the warm months to be worth the expense as it did slow the debris accumulation rate

I found a dead mouse in the middle of the yard last summer that must have been dropped as the cat activated the sprinkler. Would loved to have seen that, so I need a wildlife camera setup for the back yard now

Of course the sprinkler can't be used in the winter, and I have had to clean up some bones over the last few months. So I'm still searching for a better, more permanent solution

I live in the city next to a green belt/bike path. I've seen the following over the last 10 years of living here:

-bald eagles resting in the tall trees
-coyotes
-foxes
-skunks (sucks when they get run over on the street next to my back yard due to the smell)
-raccoons
-hawks feasting on smaller bird nests
-mice
-and of course, dogs and cats

So, I would say there is some truth to the idea that cats are a problem for the ecosystem
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #12
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I actually did read The Hot Zone when I was about 13...it was quite a hoot. Made me afraid of caves, yikes! I picked up that read from the library after being fascinated by the movie Outbreak. Germaphobes have the right idea once in a blue moon.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by grub View Post
My cats are killing things; that's their job. At my house the cats are the only thing that keep the mice and ground squirrels from destroying everything I own. And with a case or two of Hantavirus in the Valley each year it warms me deep every time I see one walking around the garage with a field mouse. But I don't live in town, out here if they go far enough to get off the property they are dodging coyotes and owls so they learn to stick close.
Amen brother...same conditions at my place. The ecosystem at my place is kept in check by a cat and coyotes.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:58 AM   #14
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We have always had a cat to keep the mouse problem in check, which works. Also, we live backed up to a mountain, so the cat has room to roam and doesn't hang much around houses where there are other dogs, who do run loose and shit everywhere. I do understand Modette's issue, and i probably wouldn't be the same if i lived in suburbia, but it works here. Plus we have bears, coyotes, and mountain lions, so he might just feed the higher up food chain at some point. Risks of having an outdoor cat!
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:56 AM   #15
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We have always had a cat to keep the mouse problem in check, which works. Also, we live backed up to a mountain, so the cat has room to roam and doesn't hang much around houses where there are other dogs, who do run loose and shit everywhere. I do understand Modette's issue, and i probably wouldn't be the same if i lived in suburbia, but it works here. Plus we have bears, coyotes, and mountain lions, so he might just feed the higher up food chain at some point. Risks of having an outdoor cat!
I'm not against it my parents have 138 acres in TN, and a few of their cats were actually strays from their lake house that they neutered and when they build the house on the property they moved them over too. The 2-3 stray cats they had they all had shots and like I said neutered...LOL Best taken care of strays ever....

Yep, in a traditional neighborhood its just rude to let your animals roam. I fellow co-worker of the wife's does just that even made a cat door for the cats to go in and out and they are in one of the Springs neighborhoods with hardly any yards (packed in there).

I won't even go into what my Grandmother would do to trapped animals in MI...LOL It was pretty cruel but took care of the issue in an extreme way.
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