Aussie Cats Killing Record Numbers of Native Birds
Date Posted:17 January 2018
Who’s got cats at home? These snobbish but sometimes endearing felines can make great pets. While they may seem aloof at times, they give you companionship and show affection in their own way. That’s precisely why there are so many cat people on the internet. But did you know that Aussie cats are killing our native birds in record numbers?
While they can be cute and all, they do have their bad side. As for Australia, these cats are gaining a nefarious reputation for killing our native birds indiscriminately, and the numbers are rather alarming.
Bird Kills by Cats by the Numbers
According to a study which is published in the Biological Conservation journal, a whopping 377 million birds are killed annually. 316 million of those are killed by feral cats, while the remaining 61 million are hunted by domestic ones. The thing that could cause worry is the fact that 99 percent of that number are native species.
Lead researcher from Charles Darwin University professor John Woinarski said, “Everyone knows that cats kill birds, but this study shows that, at a national level, the amount of predation is staggering, and is likely to be driving the ongoing decline of many species.”
Why it is a Problem
In related studies, it shows that the numbers are not just what’s foreboding. It is the species involved. It has been found out that 71 of Australia’s 117 threatened bird species are part of that huge death toll, and that could create a huge risk leading to their extinction if left unchecked.
If that’s not enough, it looks like cats are doing more damage than humans in terms of bird population. And all they have is their stealth and agility!
What Can be Done?
Of course, taking down cats instead of birds isn’t an option at all. Instead, the intervention for the said crisis will be more on control and management.
The Federal Government’s Threatened Species Strategy is currently making efforts to have more control over feral cats and foxes alike by creating fenced areas on a national scale in order to protect our native birds. Another solution is to remove these predators to islands of high biodiversity value.
But more than taking care of feral cats, pet owners need to be more responsible with their domesic feline friends. That means not letting them roam around freely as they also contribute to the bird death toll.
It would be a shame if certain bird species go extinct because of inaction.