Controlling your cat helps keep birds singing

Wildlife News


Story: By Anne Murray, June 1, 2011
Photo:  By Stephen Hui
Your cat may be a serial bird killer.


The world is rich in a great diversity of animals and plants, but many species are disappearing, including some in our own province. To stop this, we need to make clear choices about human behaviour, and make them fast. Among the many factors causing extinction are habitat loss, the influx of alien species, direct kill from harvesting, bycatch, highways, climate change, and pollution. Some of these may seem too daunting to tackle, yet there is one issue where it is easy to make a difference: controlling free-roaming and feral cats.

Cats kill a huge number of songbirds and small animals every year. It is estimated that they kill hundreds of millions, perhaps even a billion birds and animals within North America alone. Cat Crazed, a lighthearted documentary aired earlier this year by the CBC, had an important message: abandoning cats to a feral existence by dropping them off in the countryside is cruel to cats raised as pets, as well as being a very bad idea for native wildlife.

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