Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I think we can all agree that the biggest threat facing birds and small mammals is habitat destruction. However, the American Bird Conservancy estimates that cats kill hundreds of millions of birds and more than a billion small mammals each year, including rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks.
Cats are not a natural predator in this country and are considered an invasive species. Native prey species have no defense against them. Cats compete with native wildlife for food; they outnumber them and leave less available prey for native species.
The populations of native species are naturally controlled by lack of food and resources. But when people supplement feral cats with food, water and shelter, these do not become a limiting factor on their population growth. These factors allow cat populations to reach densities 100 times higher than those of their native counterparts.
Diseases in free-ranging cats can also be transmitted to wildlife. Cats are a vector for rabies and host a variety of other diseases and parasites, including toxoplasmosis, hookworms, feline immunodeficiency virus and feline infectious peritonitis. Since feral cats live in a higher density, that means a greater likelihood of disease transmission, threatening the health of domestic cats and local wildlife.
LINDSAY E. NEWSOME
Weather JournalComplexities of ice accretion