Friday, February 22, 2013

Wild Birds and Feral Cats Don't Mix....


I used to work at a university that had a significant population of feral cats wandering around campus.  Every evening several faculty members would dutifully go around feeding the cats.  Their numbers increased.  Finally, there were cats everywhere.  One night when I was leaving campus after teaching a night class I saw a cat attack a nesting bird in a tree.  In a few seconds the cat had killed the bird and the chicks in the nest.  Afterwards, I noted that with the exception of great-tailed grackles there were fewer and fewer birds on campus.  

I recall visiting Bentsen State Park west of Mission, Texas and when I arrived I saw many dozens of feral cats wandering around.  I also realized the bird populations were down significantly.  I contacted a biologist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and told him he needed to close the park and get rid of all the feral cats.  He drove out to the park and was shocked at the number of cats living there.  The cats were multiplying and the birds were disappearing.  So the park was closed for a few days so that TPWD trappers could come in and rid the park of the cats.  I wonder what would have happened if no one had mentioned the situation to the biologist.  The bird numbers had fallen precipitously.  

Presently in a park in San Antonio there are dozens of cats in residence.  I’m not sure about the status of those cats, whether they are neutered, but I don’t think they are de-clawed.  I visited the park a few weeks ago and became concerned about bird numbers.  I have no idea if bird numbers have gone down but wouldn’t be surprised if they have.  Remember that a domestic cat is a killing machine.  Left to wander around and cats will decimate the wild bird population in short order.  One cat can wipe out several coveys of quail on five to ten acres in about ten days.  The message here is if you own a cat then keep it indoors.  Abandoned cats become lethal predators.  They often kill for the sport of killing.  Like a lot of people I might add.  Interestingly, evidence is emerging that healthy coyote populations keep feral cat numbers under control.  Here’s an interesting post from Field & Stream Magazine regarding how keeping coyotes around helps to protect your quail populations and other birds as well.



3 comments:

  1. It's not just birds that cats destroy. They destroy everything that moves, directly, or indirectly by starving-to-death all those predators that depend on the senselessly destroyed prey left in the wake of cats making tortured play-toys of living things. They will even destroy valuable native vegetation by destroying those animals that are required pollinators for those plants or those that act as seed dispersers for those plants (as many smaller rodent and bird species do) or those that act as pest-control for those plants. Cats can and will wipe out whole ecosystems eventually -- animal and plant.

    I had a cat-infestation caused by cat-lickers for 15 years. No amount of reasoning with them would stop them. Their cats had completely annihilated all wildlife on my lands, from smallest of prey up to the top predators that were starved to death. On advice of the sheriff I finally got the problem under control on my own lands by shooting and burying every last cat I saw, collared or not, HUNDREDS of them. This was over 3 years ago. And contrary to cat-lickers' oft-spewed lies, ZERO cats have replaced them in all this time.

    I also don't see anyone dumping cats where I live anymore. They don't even adopt more than can be kept under lock & key 24/7. When driving through the area I don't see even one cat on anyone's doorsteps anymore. I always keep an eye out to see if there are more cats that will have to be shot one day. And if I'll have to leave fish-oil trails on all the roadsides again, leading right to my IR surveillance system and laser-sighted rifle. (Got more than 70% of the hundreds of them in the area this way; VERY effective if you have criminally-negligent, cat-licking, problem-neighbors where you live too.)

    Invasive species cats that are allowed to hunt -- get hunted. No excuses, no alibis, no delay -- NO EXCEPTIONS. Everyone in my area has now learned that if they leave their cat unsupervised, it means certain death for their cat -- often counted in hours from the time it was let to roam free.

    You'd think everyone else could learn from this simple lesson. The quickest way to solve an unwanted animal and irresponsible pet-owner problem is to let everyone know that you will quickly and humanely destroy every last one of their unwanted, uncared-for, or unsupervised animals for them. They either grow up fast or, far more plausible, dump their animals elsewhere to become someone else's problem.

    You just can't be an enabler of criminally irresponsible spineless and heartless idiots -- or they remain that way. (At least where you live, anyway.)

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  2. Perhaps you need to direct your comment to Field & Stream and to the scientists they quoted. Then re-read my post. I think we are essentially on the same page regarding the dangers posed by feral cats. It's unfortunate that people dump cats.

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  3. Very much on the same page. Just wanted to affirm your stance for any readers that might happen upon this. As well as offer the only viable solution.

    After I successfully solved the cat problem on my own lands (through the helpful advice of the Sheriff), I was concerned over some wildlife that died from eating a shot-dead cat (explained at the link given). So I went online to learn why. I had no idea that this cat-infestation problem was now worldwide. It amazes me how many are being stopped by insane cat-lickers from doing the right thing.

    I now make it a regular routine to seek out any blogs and news where people are still having cat-problems; to let them know what works, works fast, and works permanently. It begins with ignoring every last thing any cat-licker might ever say in their lives. Giving them back the exact amount of respect and consideration as they have for all other lives on this planet -- NONE. Asking them for advice and help (I found) on how to deal with their invasive-species vermin is just as foolish as asking your local career-thieves for help and advice of where to hide your valuables from their motives and daily activities. I wasted 15 years of my life and the lives of all the wildlife on my lands listening to them and trying to show them what respect was all about. It cost me nearly every last native animal on my lands. NEVER AGAIN!

    If I can get everyone to keep ANY cat from leaving their lands ever again, then I'll never have to shoot cats again. But as long as they do -- I keep the rifle right by the door. May they grow as responsible and respectful of all others' lives as I've learned to be. NO CAT that touches paw to the lands where I live will EVER leave my lands and ever become a problem for any other living thing on earth -- ever again! You have my promise on that.

    p.s. Thanks to your blog and finding it with my standard feral-cat-problem search, I then did go to "Field & Stream" and posted a similar comment there last night. With this unique discovery of invasive-species cats' coat-coloring patterns preventing native-animal predation, not many know this is why it is happening -- yet. I tell others when it is à-propos

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