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View Diary: Two years after hunting was legalized half the wolves are gone (263 comments)

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  •  Not if the numbers on feral cats is correct. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, I tend to trust Smithsonian-run studies, and those studies suggest that cats are a huge problem.

    And we don't need cats for rodent population control. Foxes and Coyotes are both species that will control the population of those rodents, and predatory birds eat pigeons.

    Pigeon populations aren't a problem in those areas where predatory birds flourish, they're only a problem in cities, where large birds get killed by buildings.

    Loss of habitat is a problem, and an important part of this discussion. Cats are also a problem.

    Both need to be dealt with.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 06:51:28 AM PST

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    •  This is not new research. They compiled 75 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, OllieGarkey

      of data.  I have no idea how or if they weighted it for quality or age.  It's not at all transparent if you're not subscribing to their journal.

      They're behind a 32 dollar pay wall.  I can't even get a look at their base assumptions.  

      I've read that they're assuming that 90% of "owned" cats spend at least part of their time outdoors - no study in the last 30 years has found greater than 50% of such cats being allowed out of homes.  However, thanks to their lack of transparency, I can't fact check that assertion.

      Where foxes and coyotes are actually in a position to control rodent vermin, you won't find more than a smattering of cats outdoors.  Coyotes and foxes eat them.

      What coyotes and foxes aren't going to do is slaughter rats and mice in urban cores, or inside barns.

      If you solve the problem of habitat, the introduced cat problem (whatever its size) is solved.  This isn't New Zeeland or Hawaii.

      All continents except Australia, North America, and Antarctica have either multiple species of Felis or a very similar small cat genus (South America is home to the Margay, Geoffrey's Cat, ect.  Convergent evolution).

      The reason you won't find them natively in North America isn't that small Bobcats couldn't have evolved easily.  It's that there's not really a niche for them here in most of the continent.  Clearly, there are not substantial populations of purely feral Felis Catus in remote parts of the US where humans are not at least scaring off predators and attracting prey.  

      I've spent a lot of time in our national parks and forests, in a wide variety of habitats.  You may well encounter feral dogs from time to time, but you won't find feral cats or signs of them.

      Based on credible recent research conducted by National Geographic, involving the same "critter cam" technique they've used to study the behavior of many other species, fully domestic cats are killing about half a Billion birds a year.  

      That's direct primary field observation, not just compiling aged data of unknown provenance.

      http://www.kittycams.uga.edu/...

      It's a pretty huge disparity in results.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 07:17:36 AM PST

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      •  This is good info that you posted here. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        I accept that there are potential concerns about the way this data was assembled. I myself have criticized studies for the same reason you're criticizing this one.

        If you're able to get a hold of the cat study, and you do any writing about it, please, please, please send me a kosmail.

        I'd like to see your take on the cat study, in depth, with links and such, if you're ever able to get your hands on the full report.

        An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

        by OllieGarkey on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 11:02:11 AM PST

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        •  I'd like to. The most important question is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OllieGarkey

          really what they're killing, rather than how much.

          If they're killing a million endangered shrews or voles every year, it matters a lot more than if they're killing 10 billion non-native rats and mice.

          I'm hoping that National Geographic will fund more studies, in different parts of the country and using ferals instead of just "owned" cats.  It would give us a much better picture of real predatory behavior.

          "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

          by JesseCW on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:37:14 AM PST

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