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Re: “Me-OW

I doubt we will ever convince enough people to to change the the way they 'manage' their cats to make a significant difference in their negative affect on wildlife. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that most people don't value wildlife enough to care that much. Just read some of the posts here to get an idea of what peoples priorities are. Personally, i don't care as much about people pissing on buildings, even though i smell it regularly in Old Town. The number of cats out there that have 'owners' must be a very small fraction of the total number of cats that are wreaking havoc on wild birds and other critters. I don't think cat owners is the most effective piece of the problem to focus efforts. Feral cats likely kill far more birds than cats who are cared for and fed by their owners, as they are effectively part of the wildlife and MUST kill in order to survive. There has been much debate about spay/neuter programs and it seems to have generally settled with an overall acceptance of spay-neuter-release programs. Of course there are those on both sides that oppose this approach, but it seems to be the vast central accepted strategy. I say let it be as such. Of course, people should be encouraged to take responsibility for their cats natural behavior that kills birds, and there are many things that can be done. If you have bird feeders, feeding areas, put a fence around them. This wont save entire species or populations, but hey, individual lives matter, right? Loss of habitat through deforestation, conversion, development and ultimately human overpopulation must be more important than the irresponsibility of pet owners. At least most pet owners show that they have affection for animals. I know of more than a few scientists/birders who seem to lack that. I think there is much greater good to be done with far less resistance by continuing to nurture an appreciation for nature and wildlife through schools and public outreach -- opening the eyes of our youth to the wonders of nature, helping them to see their connection with it, and dissolving fears of it. If we can achieve more of that, the rest will fall in place.

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Posted by One of Us on 08/28/2015 at 10:08 AM

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