"Kitty Cam" Captures Cats Killing Birds

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posted on August 9, 2012
dogs_ah2015_fs.jpg (20)

We've discussed the very negative effect that feral cats and free-roaming house cats can have on wildlife, especially birds. And it seems each time we discuss the impact or the attempts by states to control their feral cat populations, there's a passionate response in the comments section.

The opinions expressed vary widely, from Amanda, who wrote, "Only an ignorant person would think that killing cats is the answer to habitat loss," to Woodsman, who opined, "Congratulations [to Arkansas on its] intelligent decision to rid their lands of this highly destructive, invasive species."

Perhaps one could argue that I've covered this topic sufficiently, but I find it important, and it seems every new study involving the impact of cats on the environment is more alarming than the last. For instance, the University of Georgia (UGA) has found evidence that house cats allowed to roam outside kill an average of 2.1 animals per week, 13 percent of which are birds. Based on the new study, the American Bird Conservancy now believes cats kill even more than its original estimate of 500 million birds per year.

The manner in which UGA collected its data makes this study all the more intriguing. Researchers attached "Kitty Cams" to various house cats, allowed them to roam freely, and monitored their travels. Each time a cat killed something, it was recorded in a log book.

Some of the photographic and video footage is downright amazing. There's a cat growling at a dog. Another stalking a lizard. And, finally, the one that made me jump: A cat attacked by an opossum.

What do you think of this latest study?

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