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Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 29, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
I know our cat Boots usually delivers a dead bird or mouse onto the porch a couple of times a week. That is why I have the bird feeders well off the ground. Though of course cats CAN CLIMB (does that make this a climbing thread?).

Jennie loves cats, big and small. The only gift I could give Jennie this past Christmas was €40 contribution to the WWF for snow leopards, they even sent us a little stuffed toy snow leopard. There are two real ones at the Dublin Zoo. And those cats can climb (http://www.arkive.org/snow-leopard/panthera-uncia/video-06b.html);. So THIS IS a climbing thread, well not that far off of one.

I don't know how accurate the researchers' estimates are, I just thought it was an interesting article.

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

Cats killing billions of animals in the US

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 of has been well documented on many islands around the world.

Felines accompanying their human companions have gone on to decimate local wildlife, and they have been blamed for the global extinction of 33 species.

But their impact on the mainland 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.

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, but that their owners could 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 UK's 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.

EDIT

Cats are good for keeping vermin out of the house, but then so are cobras in India.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Don't get me started.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
That's why they're on this list!

Credit: limpingcrab
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
hey there say, patrick...

my mom always taught me to look out for the birds...

course, i am only one person--i have five cats, but they are indoors only...
spayed and nuetured from the cat shelter--i'd reckon that they used to be out there hunting our lovely winged flying critters, :O

even in here, i must be careful... ONE of the cats, and thank the good lord, continually does 'from across the room, flying LEAPs ONTO the birdcage' of my little parakeet... :O
he'd be far worse, outside, if free to do so, :O

i do keep him away, but a few times, he zooms from the mudroom, after eating, before i can grab him... he spends his days in the other room, NOT with the other cats... but he does enjoy the whole house, later, when bird is covered and asleep...

thanks for sharing...
hope all is well on your homefront, cat, too...

:)
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
Limpingcrab, I definitely think that the pythons in the Florida Everglades should be on the list.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Cat owner here. Two cats - adopted as older guys - both neutered. Indoor only although Ricky did manage to kill & offer up a rather large rat a few years ago.

Owned cats ( as opposed to feral ) are an extension of their owners. If cat owners want to fix the issue of their pets killing wildlife then they need to train the cat to be an indoor pet only.

The article seems to point at un-owned cats, however, so what is the undertone ? Collect all the feral cats and put them to death?

Ultimately any "pet" issue points right back at the owner.

Get the cat neutered or spayed. Train the beast. Be responsible.

Now I"ll exit the pulpit.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
Tami, our cat is neutered, and while not a stray (he preferred us to the neighbors), he is both an indoor/and outdoor cat. He is our pet. I'd like a dog, but Boots and Jennie are afraid of dogs. Well, Jen is okay with little dogs, but Boots freaks when he sees one at the vets.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
New Zealand, Hawaii, Guam, just to name a few of the islands decimated by
man's thoughtlessness in either the witting or unwitting importation of
non-natives.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 29, 2013 - 01:56pm PT

I'm like Tami (I wish I was that funny). . .
but my two kitties stay indoors and kill dust bunnies!!!
Barbarian

climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 02:00pm PT
Any leaf or bug that gets in the house is dead meat. Have a 7' Boa....haven't seen a mouse or rat for years.
The Lisa

Trad climber
Da Bronx, NY
Jan 29, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
The Oatmeal took the report that Patrick linked and made this hilarious article http://theoatmeal.com/misc/frame/cat_kill

I see nothing wrong with feral cats hunting to feed themselves. I am sure well-fed indoor/outdoor cats kill more for sport. We had outdoor cats growing up and they brought us bunnies and rats. They had no interest in eating their kills.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 29, 2013 - 02:49pm PT
Believe it or not, this simple cat bib made all the difference in our cat's bird killing capability.


Looks stupid as hell, but it works.
Credit: survival
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 02:49pm PT

The Lisa, that Oatmeal link is hilarious. Thanks
Phil_B

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
And one guy is out to rid New Zealand of cats
http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/a-plan-to-save-new-zealands-birds-get-rid-of-cats/
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
Limpingcrab, I definitely think that the pythons in the Florida Everglades should be on the list.

I agree. Looks like this list is from 2000 or so, so maybe that's why. Just went over it in class last week, maybe there's a newer one out there.

I grew up killing cat's a my parents' house. Nasty ones that would piss on everything. Neighbor killed over 20 in one month. I love cat's, but within reason :)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
What about all the Canadians in Florida, huh?
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 06:35pm PT
There are Canadians in Florida? Good gawd. Talk about pests. It's an invasion. Do they 'conglomerate' at Disney World or Universal Studios?

Just joking, Jim, Tami, Ghost, Anders et al.

But seriously those pythons are reproducing at high rates and destroying the fauna of the Everglades.

As for our Boots, nobody is going to do him in, he is doing that already by overeating (I try to do what the vet says, but don't they have those sad - killer - eyes. Think Puss n Boots in Shrek).
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 07:03pm PT
The pythons are beyond the point of no return. Unless you put a meaningful
bounty of 'em and allow the rednecks to use their AR-15's with mega-magazines.
That's the only way - Bounty Hunters, Baby! None of this stoopid catch
one here and there for the stoopid TV shows.

Nile Monitor Lizards may be almost out of control too in the far southern
end of Florida. They're pretty damn rapacious, too.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Jan 29, 2013 - 07:06pm PT
"Oh Reilly, you shouldn't have"...

Credit: Jim Brennan

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
Reilly, let's hope you are wrong about the pythons in Florida. There has some be sort of eradication program.

I didn't know about the invasive Nile Monitor Lizards in Florida until you brought it up now. Googled it. Hmmm, another problem.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 29, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
Patrick, I told you not to get me started, and I've only just.
Did you see just a week or two back they caught a 17.5 footer?
That's a big-azzed snake. And for every one that size you know there
are 25 eight to ten footers.

Jim, could you have said no to her?
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 29, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
He's not wrong about the pythons BTW.
john hansen

climber
Jan 29, 2013 - 11:32pm PT
When I moved into my house about 15 years ago there was a colony of rats living in the treeline by my property. My cat over two or three years took them all out. Maybe 50 or more. We are talking big rats, like 7 or eight inch bodies.

He was a damn good cat.

I live on the Big Island in Hawaii so rat's are introduced and a very invasive spieceis. Of course almost every thing on my acre of land is introduced. There are no endemic bird's except an I'o , a hawaiian hawk, flying around sometimes.

All the grasses and tree"s and bamboo and turkeys and phesants and doves and mynahs and cardinals and songbirds and fireweed and miykonya and gorse bushes and keawe trees and kukyio grass and cattle and goats and sheep and mongoose and the worst, wild pigs. Some one recently helicoptered some Axis deer to the Big Island from Maui. Axis deer have nearly destroyed the dry side of Molokai. I see bumper stickers saying "no axis deer eradication"

There are no snakes in Hawaii,,,, yet.

It seems to be an evolving new habitat where all these introduced things are competeing. There are herds of turkeys everywhere.

When you think of it many parts of the world are enviroments like this.
Pigs , horses, sheep , goats, and cattle were only introduced to north america about 500 years ago.

There was a light house keeper on some small island off of New Zealand. His cat wiped out the entire population of a speicies of bird in one summer.

Edit: Chaz I can see that happening, this cat wiped out a small wren type bird. Only 50 or so on the island.

And one last thought,


I wonder if pig's eat baby boa's? I bet they do.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 29, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
The lighthouse keepers themselves wiped out many a bird species. Egg collecting and sales was a major source of side income for many a lighthouse keeper back in the days of yore.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
Yeah I have been reading up on the Florida problem. Seems like they are reproducing faster than they can be hunted.


(A snippet from a New York Times article)
Florida’s fragile Everglades are of particular concern. Over the last decade, more than 1,300 Burmese pythons and other constrictors have been removed from the Everglades.

And the rule of thumb is that for every one you can see (and their markings make them very hard to see), there are another 1,000 out there. With no natural predators, these eating machines are stripping the delicate ecosystem of birds, mammals and fish.


Another snippet from another article
The LA Times reports:
Florida has long battled an invasive population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades. But a new species of invasive snake--the African rock python has recently been found on the loose as well. At least five rock pythons, one that measured 14 ft long, have just been captured in Miami-Dade county. Now, experts' fears are mounting that the Burmese and African rock pythons will begin breeding--and give rise to a new, dangerous 'super snake.'The African rock pythons were initially thought to be a few escaped pets that could be contained--but the recent spate of discoveries shows that they may indeed be a brand new breeding population in the Everglades. Which is bad news.


Super Snake - great name for a climb. Or Rock Python. I've only climbed Snake Dike.
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
Jan 30, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
The oatmeal's wonderful coverage of this issue.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/cats_actually_kill
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 30, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Oatmeal sounds like a cat hater.

That said, I grew up with all kinds of animals, the cats and dogs got along.

I love dogs. I took my late Ci (lab/border collie - died May 11 2001) from Wales to London to California to Ireland.

Back in the 1960s-1980s, of the several chicken coops we had (from 15'x15' to 6'6' - and all were left out during the day, free range), if there was a commotion (usually always during the night), I'd run up the hill with a couple of our dogs in tow.

Usually a skunk going for eggs (more than once holding my breath with a long shovel handle trying to get the stinker out). They rarely went for the chickens.

On the other hand if a chicken was gone... raccoon. And they could also rip the 9 gauge metal 'fencing/mesh' off a rabbit hutch and, rabbit gone.

Several times over the years and a couple of coops (which we built sturdily, but with chicken wire) were decimated,all chickens dead, none taken. Domesticated dogs. Just blood lust, it seems.

Dogs are pack animals, you get two or more and they have the pack mentality.

When I moved to Enniskerry, Co Wicklow in 1997, with Ci, locals told me that during lambing season "make sure you do not wander into farmer's fields, because they could shoot Ci". He had a good disposition and was born in north Wales, sheep/lamb country. I'd like to think that he would never attack another animal. But when or three or more get together, pack mentality, whereas cats, with the exception of lion prides, tend to be solitary animals (I did two years of zoology/ethology, but mainly studying California black bears and coyotes).

My point is, cat or dog, they are domesticated to a point, but can still have "primeval" instincts.

Just like humans.
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Pebble Wrestling.... Badly lately.
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
This misses some points.

A. Feral Cats are wild animals and have as much right to hunt and eat as racoons do and are generally less destructive.
B. Cats kills lots of reptiles too but of course nobody wants to hear about slimy reptiles.
C. Cats kill mostly mice and rats and that is a good thing as most other urban predators are gone.

All of these animals have been hunted by cats for many years and as far as I can see (my cat hunts more than most) the populations of birds and mice and rats and lizards are stable in my neighborhood.

I do admit that I let me cats out of the house and they are hunters but I don't really see anything wrong with that. After all, how many mammals do coyotes kill every year? And I don't see anyone complaining about coyotes.
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
my kitties stay in the house all the time.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Reptiles are not slimy by the way.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
C. Cats kill mostly mice and rats and that is a good thing as most other urban predators are gone.

Pick one,

Cats

or

Rats.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Cats or rats? I don't think that is the choice. I don't have either
in my house so what does that leave? Maybe cleanliness and such?
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#287229
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2013 - 07:49am PT
Reptiles are not slimy by the way.

Jan, that is not entirely true. I know a lot of slimy human snakes.
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jan 31, 2013 - 08:02am PT
I blame my handlers...! RJ
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jan 31, 2013 - 08:12am PT
A friend collected cats from the pound to keep the rodent population down around his new home...He also kept a bird feeder outside which his cats camped out next to at dinner time...One day his cat walked up to us with a western tanager in its' mouth...good kitty...!...Then the local cougar got hit by a speeding car....Fish and game found several kitty collars in the cougars belly...Good kitty...RJ
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 31, 2013 - 11:37am PT
photo not found
Missing photo ID#287315
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 31, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
Randisi and Rotting Johnny, I am trying to have glass of wine. Stop making me laugh.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
I'll bet that you'll find that most of the bad kitty camp are in the save the kitty camp in the other thread.
OR

Trad climber
Feb 20, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
New Zealand? The cats are bad but it was the introduction of Stoats to help reduce the invasive rabits that did the real damage to the bird population many years ago. That place is like a textbook for bad decision making of introduced species. Stag, rabits, brown trout, stouts...the list is endless.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 17, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
MisterE

Social climber
May 17, 2013 - 08:29pm PT
Limpingcrab, I don't trust any list of invasive species that doesn't have "homo erectus" on it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
May 17, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
I herd if u have a loving kitty & u die in ur house that loving kitty will start eating u within 24hrs, how loyal them felines are.


Patrick, It would have been nice if u could have named this thread: cats at the crag
couchmaster

climber
pdx
May 17, 2013 - 11:49pm PT
I think that rSins post made me Catatonic.




rSin said:
"cat genetics in new foundland are nailing down the date for european ships making contact in the "new" world


screening grade schoolers for anti-cat setiments will soon be a short-cut for homeland security to target those most likely to be radicalized; and point over stretched resources towards the best places to point state surveilance
MisterE

Social climber
May 18, 2013 - 01:20am PT
Hey, is "rSin" (arson) another Pyro avatar?

I just can't get enough Stoney Ryan!

Going to check the other thread now!
rockermike

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 18, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Think of all the worms that have been saved by the reduction in bird populations. what goes around comes around. ha

Around here in Davis CA (the ultimate suburbia from hell) wondering coyotes keep the feral cat populations down. Even the domestic cats if they are out at night. My sister lost her favorite Nutmeg, only the collar wasn't eaten. :)
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