New Zealand Economist: Abolish Pet Cats to Save Birds

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If New Zealand businessman Gareth Morgan has his druthers, it could all be over for Fluffy and pals: The economist and environmental proponent wants to see his country rid of pets that pose a danger to native birds — namely cats.

“That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer,” reads the Cats to Go campaign section of Morgan’s website. “Every year cats in New Zealand destroy our native wildlife. The fact is that cats have to go if we really care about our environment.”

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New Zealand plays home to an enormous array of native birds species, but the island nation’s human inhabitants have the highest cat ownership rate in the world: 28% of households have one cat; another 20% have two or more. Since those cats are preying on the country’s native birds — in many cases to the point of extinction, says Morgan — one or the other has to go. Morgan’s voting cats, though he’s aware that won’t win him any popularity contests. At present, 72% of respondents are voting no to a poll on Morgan’s site that asks the question “In the interest of protecting native species would you consider not replacing your cat with a new one when it dies?”

“If you are reading this there is a good chance that you are a cat owner and you are probably upset at the thought of getting rid of your beloved pet,” writes Morgan, urging readers to consider the relevant statistics. Like: New Zealand’s record cat ownership rates, as noted, but also that cats have so far contributed to the extinction of nine native bird species, and presently threaten 33 more.

“New Zealand is the last refuge of a huge range of bird species, we’re famous for our claim to be clean and green, and some of us have recognized the huge economic benefit, let alone the ecological dividend, from achieving a Predator Free New Zealand,” he adds.

How far would he go? Should New Zealanders consider euthanizing their feline friends? Morgan isn’t calling for the immediate liquidation of pet cats, but in his site’s Q&A section, he does say euthanasia “is an option.”

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But no, he’s generally advocating that people take an informed approach to a serious problem: “We appreciate the fact that you have an emotional connection with your pet and that pet ownership is a rewarding experience … If you think NZ’s native species are precious and should be fostered then it’s important you be a responsible cat owner. That means keep them inside 24 hours a day and if that’s impractical then when the time comes ensure this is the last cat you ever own.”

If your cat never goes outside, in other words, consider Snowball, Max and Missy off the hook.

134 comments
jlee9372
jlee9372

Cats are integral part of human civilization, and it's been that way for almost 10,000 years.  What do you going to do?  Kill the cats?  I don't think many people are going to put up with that radical solution.  There are a lot of people who loves cats ( 33% household in US owns cats)   People aren't going to give up their cats, because cats have become a member of their families.  I won't give up my cat, because I love my cat.  No one's going to take away my cat.

Genius_at_work
Genius_at_work

Cats aren't the only animals kill birds and other small animals, fox's, wolfs, and even humans kill small animals. And here's a question how many animals do we humans kill?? before you blame cats for the killings of small animals, why don't you do something about people that shoot small animals for sport, than blame cats that have been killing for survival since they came here an planet earth.

Sincerely a mad 13 year old

Febu
Febu

Why not asking for NZ without human beings? Imagine: all these terribly fast cars, airplanes, wind turbines and big houses with deadly windows disappearing, and no more farmers using lots of poisonous chemical substances and mowing their fields with merciless machines! And what about sheep? They aren't native animals of NZ at all, but there are millions of them, disturbing wildlife with their giant noisy flocks -- maybe NZ people should get rid of all their sheep and then emigrate themselves? Of course that would be crazy, but just as crazy as the ideas of that maniac called G.M. As long as human beings are doing so bad to their environment, they should not blame other creatures!

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

Wind turbine mortalities are more weighted toward the bird species of conservation concern. Neither cats nor wind turbines are the only threats birds face.  A surprising number of birds die in collisions with stationary manmade objects, especially lighted urban buildings, but also communications towers, which kill millions of migratory birds a year all on their own.  Each year many thousands of seabirds are killed as by commercial fishing operations.  Birds are killed by hunters, by invasive exotic species other than cats, and by pesticides.  Birds die from the energy extraction industry that wind turbines purport to replace, in oil spills or in toxic coal slurry ponds.  Habitat destruction kills more birds than any other threat.

Cats have always been part of the natural environment—they have lived outdoors for over 10,000 years.  While they have adapted to the changes people brought about in the environment, their biological instincts and interactions with their surroundings have not changed.  What has changed in the last 10,000 years is how people have impacted the environment.   Our unrestrained use of natural resources has damaged the crucial habitats and resources species need to survive.  Instead of pointing a finger at cats, we must take a hard look at what we can do to change the way we impact our world and the animals we share it with.   We have the ability to conserve our natural places, minimize our impact on wildlife habitat, and build responsibly.   To make a difference, we must align our attention and resources to offset the biggest offender in habitat destruction and species decline—ourselves.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Kelly, your emotional attachment to cats is clouding your ability to understand the logic of the situation.  As Phil said, Cats are an invasive species, they DO NOT BELONG in NZ.  What you may think is a nice, cuddly, furry little buddy is actually a natural born killer.  And by your logic of letting nature takes it's course, then I guess you have no problem when I shoot the cats who come near my bird feeder, it's just survival of the fittest.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Kelly, you obvisouly did not read the article.  Cats are NOT native to New Zealand. They were introduced by humans and have taken a huge toll on the native bird population. As such, they need to be treated as an invasive speciens, hence, elimiated with extreme predjudice. Plain and Simple.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad I read the article.  Species migrate - there are many animals that are not 'native' to many areas - they migrated there.  When do they get to be deemed 'native' so that we don't have to kill them all?  Most animals are 'natural born killers' - stop putting out bird feeders and luring birds into cat's purview and endangering them needlessly - and stop luring cats with birds so you can shoot them.  You're unstable and should be arrested.  You're a species-ist - valuing one animal over another and sticking stay the hell out of it and leave animals alone - it's obnoxious and self-indulgent and extremist.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

The reason why this 'movement' is overwhelmingly unpopular and why is a huge failure is because what people who call for the wholesale eradication of cats fail to understand is that cats have a special relationship with humans that is unlike most other animals - the relationship between humans and cats is mutualistic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_(biology) or commensal http://www.thefreedictionary.com/commensalism. Most people feel a connection with cats - they always have and always will - that's not irrational, that's just the way it is. There are methods of population control but that's not what is being called for here. I would not expect you in particular to understand - you get excited about shooting cats and the idea of eradicating them - but you have a mental disorder - most people don't and are reasonable. It's extremists like you that help to prevent any real rational efforts to that might be attempted to help both cats and birds and cause public opinion to turn against it so vehemently. There are reasonable balanced approaches and compromises that could address this problem - but they require the acknowledgement of this special relationship between cats and humans be considered in the equation. The fact that you don't feel this is worth listening to is really makes no difference - because you are an extremist - and extremists never want to listen to reason.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

@KelleyBeld Ummm yeah, none of those are examples of mid 18th century ships..... but anyway, doesn't really matter.

Your problem is simple Kelley, to understand the issues at hand (Cat predation on native NZ bird species) you have to be able to emotionally detach yourself from the personal feelings you have about cats, and understand that beyond those cute little faces are cold, lethal, killers who are considered invasive species in most of the world besides Africa and Europe.  In particular in NZ, there are native bird species under threat of extinction from outdoor cats. Until you are able to recognize this fact, admit is as truth, and try to understand the impact, you will be unable to offer any constructive input.  As you have demonstrated already, you are incapable of such rational thought and hence no longer worth listening to.  Have a nice life.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

I am delusional if I think of a mid 18th century ship with a bunch of sailors on board all petting their cats saying good kitty kitty - eh?  Hmmm ... I don't think so - Read on ...

(check out the link that includes accompanying pictures of ship's cats with the sailors who loved them and memorialized them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship%27s_cat  and here http://hovalis.hubpages.com/hub/Famous-Ships-Cats)

Sometimes worshipped as deities, cats have long had a reputation as magical animals and numerous myths and superstitions sprang up amongst the unusually superstitious seafaring community.  They were considered to be intelligent and lucky animals, and a high level of care was directed toward them to keep them happy.

Famous ship's cats
Trim
Trim was the ship's cat on a number of the ships under the command of Matthew Flinders during voyages to circumnavigate and map the coastline of Australia during 1801-03. He became a favourite of the crew and was the first cat to circumnavigate Australia. He remained with Flinders until death. A statue to Trim was later erected in his honour, and he has been the subject of a number of works of literature. A statue sits on a window sill on the outside of the Sydney Library, in Sydney, Australia.
Trim's statue behind Matthew Flinders' own in Sydney, Australia. The plaque under it reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF TRIM
The best and most illustrious of his race
The most affectionate of friends,
faithful of servants,
and best of creatures
He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia,
which he circumnavigated, and was ever the
delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers........
Written by Matthew Flinders in memory of his cat
Memorial donated by the North Shore Historical Society.

Unsinkable Sam
Previously named Oscar, he was the ship's cat of the German battleship Bismarck. When she was sunk on 27 May 1941, only 116 out of a crew of over 2,200 survived. Luckily, Oscar was picked up by the destroyer HMS Cossack.  Cossack herself was torpedoed and sunk a few months later, on 24 October, killing 159 of her crew, but again, Oscar survived to be rescued, and was taken to Gibraltar. He became the ship's cat of HMS Ark Royal but she too was torpedoed and sunk in November that year. Oscar was again rescued, but it was decided at that time to transfer him to a home on land. By now known as Unsinkable Sam, he was given a new job as mouse-catcher in the Governor General of Gibraltar's office buildings. He eventually returned to the UK and spent the rest of his life at the 'Home for Sailors'. A portrait of him hangs in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Blackie
Blackie was HMS Prince of Wales's ship's cat. During the Second World War, he achieved worldwide fame after Prince of Wales carried Prime Minister Winston Churchill across the Atlantic to NS Argentia, Newfoundland, where he secretly met with the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt for several days in a secure anchorage. This meeting resulted in the signing of the Atlantic Charter, but as Churchill prepared to step off Prince of Wales, Blackie approached. Churchill stooped to bid farewell to Blackie, and the moment was photographed and reported in the world media. In honour of the success of the visit, Blackie was renamed Churchill.

Camouflage
Camouflage was the ship's cat aboard an LST. He was known for chasing enemy tracer rounds across the deck.

Chibbley
Chibbley was the ship's cat aboard the tall ship, Picton Castle. She was rescued from an animal shelter and circumnavigated the world five times. The Picton Castle’s role as a training ship resulted in Chibbley being introduced to a large number of visitors, and becoming a celebrity in her own right, receiving her own fan mail.   Chibbley died on November 10, 2011, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. She had sailed over 180,000 miles at sea.

Convoy
Convoy was the ship's cat aboard HMS Hermione.  He was so named because of the number of times he accompanied the ship on convoy escort duties. Convoy was duly listed in the ship's book and provided with a full kit, including a tiny hammock where he would sleep. He stood by his ship to the end and was lost along with 87 of his crew mates, when the Hermione was torpedoed and sunk on 16 June 1942 by U-205.


KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

There are similar laws all other the country - South Florida is actually quite lenient compared to most jurisdictions. Glad to hear you live in a rural area - don't like being around people much huh. Let's hope the next 'cat you bag' is the pet of someone influential and who has the resources to prosecute you to the full extent of the law.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Also, I live on a large rural property, besides, it's hard to prove these cases and very rarely, if ever, are they enforced.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

I don't live in S. Florida.   Nice try.

Keep em' indoors.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

"It's a psychological truism: anyone who can kill a pet without compunction is a good candidate to move on to humans, eventually. Behavioral profiling long ago identified three key, aberrant behaviors in youth that may predict a serial killer: bedwetting, arson, and cruelty to animals."

http://www.truecrimereport.com/2009/06/south_florida_serial_pet_kille.php

Killing people's pets is a 3rd degree fine, punishable by a 4-figure fine and at most, 5 years in prison in South Florida - you sick loser.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Also, it should be noted, that even in the Unites States, Domestic Cats are classified as Invasive Species, furthermore, it is 100% within my rights to kill domestic cats on my property.

Keep em' indoors.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Well you don't want to carry on a rational conversation or even attempt to answer my question, so this is becoming a waste of time.  I will think of you next time I bag a cat. 

Cheers.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad Bobcats harm people - that's what it's all about, people. Cats do not harm people. What you apparently don't realize, is that cats have either a special relationship with humans that is unlike these other animals you keep going on about - the relationship between humans and cats is mutualistic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_(biology) or commensal http://www.thefreedictionary.com/commensalism. None of these other animals you mention, snakes, bobcats, raccoons, opposums etc. have this type of relationship with humans. I know you don't want to acknowledge this but it is a widely accepted fact.

As far as you're not liking to kill anything, you sure like to talk about it. Most people find the idea of a mass killing of any animal - especially by shotgun, unpleasant at least - but not you. I see you get especially excited about the idea of killing cats - even the guy promoting this ban has the good sense not to reveal that to people.

And simply keeping cats inside is not what is being proposed here - this guy is promoting the idea that people never get another cat. That's never going to fly honey. Your hatred of cats and your instability is blinding you to the fact that most people like cats - cats have a special relationship with humans. I realize you will not be able to process this information, but for anyone that is puzzled as to why people find this demonization of cats disturbing - and why these crazy cat banning efforts will never work - that is the answer.

You can go back to talking about killing things now.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Cats were brought by people why?....  to help control the rodent population on ships that would often be at sea for months at a time.  You are dillusional if you think of a mid 18th century ship with a bunch of sailors on board all petting their cats saying good kitty kitty.  They like the cats becuase they kill the rodents, but unfortunatley the unintended consequence is introducing a non-native species into a very complex ecosystem.

Now there are efforts to find a way to help fix this problem.  The cats are doing what comes natural, the problem here is irresponsible pet owners.

Keep your cats inside and it's not a problem.

And to answer your question Kelley, I don't like killing anything, but it was very apparent to me at a young age that outdoor cats are a big problem.

Think of it this way, let's say a large population of Bobcats were introduced by Humans in your area and they began killing and eating all the cats.  Would you be in favor of taking measure to reduce the Bobcat population in order to protect the cats?  Or is it just natural and part of a changing environment?

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad - Keep going, this is fascinating.  Tell us more about the things you like to kill.  Has this always been a passion for you?  Did it start in your childhood? Or was later when you were traumatized somehow that made you feel insecure about your masculinity?  Inquiring minds want to know.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad I love how you get all excited at the idea of killing things!

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

This isn't about birds or cats - it's about people, and what people want. Until you understand that, you will never get anywhere with this. There are cats in NZ because people brought them there - that's right - PEOPLE BROUGHT THEM ThERE - and why? Because people like cats, they want them around. Where there are people, they bring cats. People and cats travel together for a reason. But keep it up - you'll never get anywhere with this insulting tact - but I like it! where all crazy and you are sane. i think you should go on a campaign to expose all the "crazy cat ladies and men" - round them up and confiscate their cats because they are mentally unstable - good luck with that. Your losing - for good reason - go look at the survey on this economist nuts site. You've been over-ruled. You're not very bright, but you are entertaining - thank you!

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Phil, here is a recent article about the Python problem we have here in Southern Florida and how the Govt has introduced a "Bag and Tag" program to allow hunters to start killing pythons.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/python-challenge-inside-world-florida-snake-hunters-093354584--politics.html

Similar methods should be enforced in NZ for the Cats.

I love your quote Kelley, it applies to you very well. But this statement from you should be evidence enough of your irrational thought process on the subject.

"change is inevitable and is evolution - maybe one day New Zealand will be known for their wide variety of cat breeds." - Crazy Cat Lady

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

There you go again - comparing the existence of cats to slavery and oppression - you've got to work on that, I'm telling ya! I enjoy the company of one very sweet gentle cat who wears no clothes and he never goes outside. I find the neighbor's cat, who stops by now and again, unannounced, and never outstays his welcome, to be delightful, there's a spirituality to this creature - my cat is great, but this cat is really special - I've known quite a few great cats in my life too. So you see, myself and others like me don't see cats as an 'invasive' species that is unwelcome, vile, filthy and nasty - like slavery and oppression - to be snuffed out and eradicated. These creatures are welcome to us. So I'll leave you with this quote - I think it applies -

"I am interested in the notion that people can become so obsessed by their world that they lose sense and awareness of how they appear to other people. They're so earnest about it. But that's true of so many things." - Christopher Guest

PhilTindall
PhilTindall

@KelleyBeld Ouch...!

Well I don't think there is anything I can add to my side of the argument. I will leave the informed and gentle reader of these respective posts to measure and judge the reasonableness or otherwise of the arguments presented. I only ask for fair and sane analysis. This will be my last post here.

My instinct tells me that right is on my side and that the tide of opinion will eventually start to turn. Slavery was eventually abolished and women got to vote. Even climate change is starting to be recognised as established fact. But none of these has happened instantly.

Seriously Kelley, how many cats do you have..?

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

Yeah, and there's nothing emotional coming from the bird-lover side.  Shooting and poisoning cats is completely unemotional and rational act.  Well, seems the jury is in - people just like cats more than birds guys - sorry.  I know it's hard to hear but somebody had to tell you.  People rule the roost (no pun intended) and that's the majority consensus.  The birdies will still be around, don't worry.  On the upside, people who dislike rats and mice and other vermin will be happy that we won't be getting rid of all cats after all - although it might slowly dig into the profits of the Car Wash owners - yeah, that's unfortunate but they'll be okay, they'll adapt.  And diablo dude I encourage you to keep up with your cat-shooting  -  really!  It has little effect overall and it ups the inevitable odds that you'll shoot the mailman, a small child, a family member, or heck - yourself!  That's actually the most common result of shooting into space at a fast moving creature on your property - happens all the time and strangely enough, they all think they're good shooters too, go figure!  Then we can put you away - if you don't put yourself away first - and be rid of another dangerous cat-phobic bird-obsessed loose cannon.

Hmmm, on to lessons learned - y'all got a bit crazy with your numbers there too and ruined your credibility.  People calculate this stuff out  -and the "billions and billions"  just don't add up - it's just not credible and makes y'all look like crazy bird freaks with an agenda, this is what most people are saying and thinking about the "studies" - hate to have to break it to you but it's only right that you know.  Also, the talking about birds being way more awesome than cats and calling cats filthy and nasty and comparing them to head-lice and smallpox - although I realize that is how you feel, you might have wanted to keep that kind of talk to a minimum and just between yourselves - it probably didn't make much difference to anybody in the end - but not the way to win hearts and minds - just a suggestion.  On second thought, I'm thinking you should keep up the cat-bashing - it'll just hasten the demise of and put the final nails in the coffin of this ridiculousness.

So, what is left to do to save the birdies?  You might want to try focusing on that habitat destruction business - I know,  I know, not as fun as shooting and poisoning cats and persecuting them as 'evil killers' but you could actually get some traction there - maybe - if you can raise enough money to buy off a politician or two - could work!   Wouldn't do away with any cats though so I guess that kind of takes the passion out of it for ya.  But, would really help up the bird population!  I have a feeling everything will work out no matter what you do though so no worries.

PhilTindall
PhilTindall

@KelleyBeld  & Diablo.

Not wanting to throw fuel on the fire but it seems that the problem is not limited to New Zealad:

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/31/the-biggest-threat-to-u-s-wildlife-cats/

Kelley has done some research, great work, and has discovered a host of threats to birds and other wildlife. And Yes, loss of habitat is a biggie. 

In New Zealand that loss of rainforest etc. has been seriously slowed and reversed, with a lot of land now regenerating in bush. But the birds are still in decline. Why? Extensive research has shown that it is because of predation by introduced mammalian predators (feral & domestic cats included) that also thrive in the bush habitat.

The indigenous birds evolved in the total absence of these mammals and have no defences against them. Maybe natural selection is breeding some defences into them now but it has only had a couple of hundred years to work its magic, many species have succumbed already as the onslaught is too sudden.

There are many cat lovers here that take your position Kelley but their defence of cats is emotional, which is understandable, and not based on data. I would like to engage their emotions to appreciate the remnant diversity we have and maybe learn to value it, just a bit. How will our children regard us when they survey the impoverished and diminished natural world we (and our pets) have left them?

Here are some more characters we are trying to keep:

The Kakapo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T1vfsHYiKY

The Fantail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=988Jy-22u1g

The Kea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAgl-SKmfgc

(to be fair the Kea looks to be too smart & adaptable to be disadvantaged by our presence)

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

DEATH TO SONGBIRDS! They make it so I can't sleep and they crap on my car man! I'm getting a rifle!

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

You are irrational, but providing a lot of good laughs for me and my co-workers.  Thanks. :)

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

Yeah - that's the response I would expect from you. You're incapable of considering that there are other issues - bigger threats - that threaten birds besides cats. Your refusal to consider these other factors exposes your bigotry on the issue. You don't want to bring these other issues into the discussion because it gets off the topic you are obsessed with and apparently want to talk about in detail - shooting cats - eradicating cats. I'm trying to bring balance to the discussion - Your reaction to this is telling.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Look at the top of this page, it's a topic and forum discussion specifically about the issue NZ is having with Cats and their native bird population.  If you want to have a discussion about the impact humans are having on the environment, then I'm sure there are other forums available for that.  Let's stick to the topic on hand, not try to deflect and deny. 

There  has been valuable discussion on the Cat problem in NZ, how they are a non-native species and were brought there by humans.  They've had a huge impact and as a result 33 species of birds have gone EXTINCT in NZ.  This is the focus of this forum. Do you keep your cats indoors?  Do you bell your cats? Why not try to add something to the discussion instead of just crying about how we are trying to vilanize the poor kitties.

This is a serious environmental issues that must be dealt with.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

You are being selective.  I am pointing out that cats are not the biggest threat to birds - habitat destruction is - this information is sorely lacking from your discussion because your stated mission and obsession is to eradicate cats.  Habitat destruction is an inconvenient truth for Ailurophobics .  Destroying cats is all you focus on because it suits your bigoted views.  You pet your bird everyday and shoot cats.  You are biased and can't think straight.  You are in denial.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

Not nearly as much fun as scapegoating cats but the most critical threat facing threatened birds is the destruction and fragmentation of habitat.  The loss of forests, plains and other natural systems into agriculture, mines, and urban developments, the draining of swamps and other wetlands, and logging reduce potential habitat for many species.  In addition the remaining patches of habitat are often too small or fragmented by the construction of roads or other such barriers that cause populations to become vulnerable to localised extinction. In addition many forest species show limited abilities to disperse and occupy new forest fragments.  The loss of tropical rainforest is the most pressing problem, as these forests hold the highest number of species yet are being destroyed quickly. Habitat loss has been implicated in a number of extinctions, including the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (disputed because of "rediscovery"), Bachman's Warbler and the Dusky Seaside Sparrow.

Humans have exploited birds for a very long time, and sometimes this exploitation has resulted in extinction. Overhunting occurred in some instances with naive species unfamiliar with humans, such as the moa of New Zealand, in other cases it was an industrial level of hunting that led to extinction.  The Passenger Pigeon was once the most numerous species of bird alive (possibly ever), overhunting reduced a species that once numbered in the billions to extinction.   Hunting pressure can be for food, sport, feathers, or even come from scientists collecting museum specimens. Collection of Great Auks for museums pushed the already rare species to extinction.

The harvesting of parrots for the pet trade has led to many species becoming endangered. Between 1986 and 1988 two million parrots were legally imported into the US alone. Parrots are also illegally smuggled between countries, and rarer species can command high prices.

Birds face a number of other threats. Pollution has led to serious declines in some species. The pesticide DDT was responsible for thinning egg shells in nesting birds, particularly seabirds and birds of prey that are high on the food chain.  Seabirds are also vulnerable to oil spills, which destroy the plumage's waterproofing causing the bird to drown or die of hypothermia.   Light pollution can also have a damaging effect on some species, particularly nocturnal seabirds such as petrels.   Seabirds face another threat in the form of bycatch; where birds in the water become tangled in fishing nets or hooked on lines set out by long-line fisheries. As many as 100,000 albatrosses are hooked and drown each year on tuna lines set out by long-line fisheries.

Birds are also threatened by high rise buildings, communications towers, and wind farms; an estimated 975 million birds a year are killed this way in the North America alone, according to the American Bird Conservancy.   The largest source of human-related bird death is due to glass windows, which kill 100-900 million birds a year. The next largest sources of human caused death are hunting (100+ million), cars and trucks (50 to 100 million), electric power lines (174 million), and pesticides (67 million).   Birds are also killed in large quantities by flying into communication tower guidelines, usually after being attracted by tower lights. This phenomenon is called towerkill and is responsible for 5-50 million birds deaths a year. The presence of towers seriously impact endangered species living in the vicinity.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Great videos Phil, and a perfect illustration of why it's so important to help protect these species of birds.  I appreciate your input but it's not possible to reason with someone like Kelley.  She can't understand the impact cats are having on bird species in NZ.  She is perfect illustration of anthropomorphism, she probably thinks of her cats as little people and dresses them up and calls them names.  There are plenty of scientific studies on the impact of bird populations by cats.  We are not scapegoating the cats, it's just fact, pure and simple. Kelley you can't deflect the truth by calling scientific studies "junk". It just further illustrates your own ingorance of the situation.  Don't try to deflect the seriousness of the situation just because you think your cats are too precious, they are just killers on the inside. It's a well proven fact.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

I wouldn't get anywhere near that unstable creep let alone get in a room with him.  "Diablo" (and if that is not a descriptive name) seriously needs help.  People who shoot at animals in their yard deserve to be called names.  That is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. 

Phil, I'm sorry I lumped you in with that nut but demonizing cats is wrong and Diablo is a perfect illustration of why.  You are supporting the scapegoating cats with these junk science studies when they are not the true threat - habitat destruction is.  It's obviously more fun to blame cats.  If you truly value cats and birds like you say you do - start focusing on controlling the true threat to these birds - man's destruction of their habitats.

PhilTindall
PhilTindall

@KelleyBeld , Diablo...Guys, guys, get a room...

No need to resort to name calling.

Kelly, I wonder if you met some of the characters we are trying to protect, yes, from cats and other predators, that you might be more sympathetic?

Meet the Tui: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8diWFGM6sQ

The Kokako: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqVsZBfAixc

The Bellbird: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxPid7VxTA4

These animals have been here and only here, for millions of years and we just don't want to lose them, especially as pet food. 

Please try and understand.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

That's what every nutcase says who accidentally shoots somebody.  

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

It's not random shooting.  I target cats specifically.  I thought I was clear about that.  And it's not because they wander into my vicinity, it's because they needlessly kill birds, squirells, chipmunks and other small mammels.

I'm just doing my part to control the feline population, and it's going quite well thank you.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

I have no problem with men - I do have a problem with unstable people who talk about brandishing weapons and shooting at animals simply because they wander into their vicinity - this is a mental disorder that can be possessed by either males or females.  And, since you're obviously pouring over my posts, check again, I called no 'names' in my original post. 

Listen honey, you obviously need help.  Their are clinics and treatments for your disorder.  I will say also that this exchange with you has eased my mind that this 'movement' will never gain any traction with reasonable people if you and Phil are any indication of the type of people who support it.  Stay away from that gun now, you hear?

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

coming from a Misandry, can't say I'm surprised. You've resorted to name calling from your first post. 

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Kelley, do you prefer Spinster or Cat Lady?

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDadMost clear-cut case of Ailurophobia I've ever encountered.  Get help before you shoot the mailman.


DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

A small disclaimer.  I only shoot cats.  All other natural species, Birds, squirrells, chipmunks, Racoons,, Opposums, they are all off limits.  Since they are native species and members of the naturally occuring food chain.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Well Kelley I certainly touched a nerve with you on that one.  As I said before, just be sure to keep little fluffy inside..... or else. 

Two species on the planet have been documented Killing for Fun.  Humans and Cats.   Looks like I'm in good company.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad Anyone who talks about shooting animals has discredited themselves and cannot claim to be able to have a rational discussion on the topic. You exposed yourself you idiot.  Thank goodness you are the minority.  Stop playing with guns.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

Kelley, there is nothing rational about your thoughts, that's the problem.  You don't understand the fact that Cats are non-native to the entire southern hemisphere.  In addition to that, you've taken to personal attacks against myself and others on this board who are simply stating the facts that cat's don't belong in certain places, in this case NZ. 

Any emotional feelings or preference for one animal over another is not important.  What IS important is the protection of natural wildlife and native bird species in NZ from a human introduced predator, the cat.  The purpose of this discussion is how to fix this problem.  I prefer the extermination method, others have less suble ways such as belling or getting the cats spayed and neutered.

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@PhilTindallThat's right dismiss my rational thoughtful input because I'm an 'American'. Typical of the attitude people like you and 'Diablo' who hide behind the guise of really just being 'conservationists' when your comments clearly expose your true motivation with this to anyone reading them.  You compare cats to head lice and smallpox, and this Diablo idiot talks about how he likes to get his rifle and shoot cats because 'birds are way more awesome than some filthy, nasty, cat'.  That exposes you both to anyone reading them as yes, 'cat haters'.

Cats do not harm to the people or the ecosystem for that matter - nothing is destabilized except for people like you who have an irrational hatred and fear of cats - that's what unstable people who fear things do, shoot at them.  Just be careful you don't shoot and kill a person with that rifle, that's what tends to happen when people like Diablo start wielding a weapon and shooting at things.

Ailurophobia is the irrational fear of cats. It is promoted by bird-watching bigots who hate cats and want them eradicated to save the birds.  From the beginning of time, ignorant wretches like you two have attributed evil to cats.  You should both go in for treatment.

Most people are rational on the topic and this idiocy will fade away once again like it always does.  I just wish people like you would keep your cat-hating to yourselves and leave cats and people and nature alone.


PhilTindall
PhilTindall

@DiabloBetaDad give it up Diablo. Kelly has too much invested to see beyond her point of view.

She is one of those Americans that can't conceive of a world outside her experience where perhaps the circumstances are different. I want cat predation controlled so to her I am a "cat hater".

I don't hate cats, I love nature. But nature needs balance. Our species destabilizes ecosystems everywhere we have settled and New Zealand is no exception. Introduced species with no local natural predators are one of our most frequent mistakes. That leaves us responsible for providing the "predation".

Question is; what is going to set the limits on us?

KelleyBeld
KelleyBeld

@DiabloBetaDad  Migration happens in many ways.  And you just proved my point - you are a species-ist saying one species is "way more awesome than another" - and calling cats "filthy and nasty".  You are filthy and nasty - you're sick, unstable and I hope someone catches you shooting animals you lure into your yard - you should be arrested.

DiabloBetaDad
DiabloBetaDad

You are incorrect, Cats did not "migrate" to NZ.  They were brought there by humans.

As another example, look at the Python invasion of Southern Florida, they were introduced by pet owners who let them loose in the everglades and now they are killing native species.  Hence, the Govt has introduced a "bounty" program to hunt and eliminate the pythons.  The same thing should be done with Cat in NZ in my opinion.

How about snakes in Hawaii, never existed until Humans arrived, same problem, killing native species.

And make sure you practice what you preach as a responsible pet owner and keep your Cat indoors, or else he may end up at the receiving end of my rifle.

And yes, for the record, Birds are way more awesome than some filthy, nasty, cat.