Cats kill 1mln birds daily in Australia: Research

Wednesday 04 October 2017 2 weeks ago 24   Australia   Print

Report  Web Desk : Canberra: Feral and pet cats kill more than one million birds in Australia every day, new research showed, with the staggering slaughter driving the decline of many species. The study estimated that wild cats wiped out 316 million every year, while pets killed 61 million annually. “Everyone knows that cats kill birds, but this study shows that, at a national level, the amount of predation is staggering,” said lead researcher John Woinarski. “It is likely to be driving the ongoing decline of many species.” The numbers are based on results from nearly 100 studies across the country by environmental scientists, each sampling cat population density. Another set of almost 100 studies assessed feline diet. Woinarski said that while previous research had looked at the impact cats had on Australia’s mammals, this was the first nationwide assessment on birds. It found the highest rates of predation were on Australia’s islands and in remote arid areas, where the number of birds killed each year could reach 330/km². Feral cats, which number in their millions across the country, are also considered the main culprit behind Australia’s high rate of mammal extinction. 02