The primary cats had been domesticated hundreds of years in the past, however we nonetheless don’t appear to have a lot management over them. Many individuals let their cats come and go as they please, maybe forgetting—or not caring—that home cats kill billions of birds and mammals each year. Over half of pet cats within the U.S. spend time outdoors, and worldwide the animals have contributed to the extinction of not less than 33 species, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Feral cats could be the worst offenders, however pets which can be allowed to roam outdoors additionally hurt wildlife. The state of affairs in Australia is so dire that officers have proposed killing some 2 million feral cats to cease their assault on endangered species. Within the U.S., there are a lot of packages geared toward decreasing feral cat populations by trapping, neutering, and releasing them—however the Fish and Wildlife Service warns that such packages don’t truly defend native fauna from the cats.
Sadly, it’s already too late for dozens of species, together with the Stephens Island wren (a flightless songbird), the crescent nailtail wallaby, and the cute desert bandicoot. Right here, we spotlight just some of the various species presently threatened by outside cats.
A earlier model of this text was revealed on November 25, 2021.