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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 03 February 2013
in Mother Nature's Big and Small

Save a Bird and Keep Your Cat Indoors

We want our chickens free-range but not our cats.tiger-cat-katymystiry-mfile

Last week the Internet was buzzing about cats (more so than usual) when a study was published in the journal Nature that said cats are assassins. Cats are responsible for killing an estimated 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and between 6.9 and 20.7 billion mammals annually.  The study said beloved house cats are not to be held completely responsible for the killings.

Not everyone is happy about the data presented in the paper called: “The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States.”

"This study is part of a continuing propaganda campaign to vilify cats," said Becky Robinson, the president and co-founder of Alley Cat Allies, a national advocacy organization based in Maryland that is dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. The statement called the study “biased” and a “a veiled promotion by bird advocates to ramp up the mass killing of outdoor cats.”

Did you know there was a campaign to vilify cats? I thought we all loved cats. Nyan Cat, Keyboard Cat, Monorail Cat, Grumpy Cat-the list goes on forever. Didn’t the cat-hating end with the rise of the word cheezburger?

Robinson went on to say: “It seems as if the authors landed on a conclusion first and then cherry-picked through studies to support it. Some of the research they cite is more than a half-century old. They even cite discredited researcher Nico Dauphine, who was convicted by a D.C. jury for trying to poison cats and then fired from her job at the Smithsonian. The researcher convicted of trying to poison cats worked for Marra, one of the authors of this study."

Robinson is referring to Peter P. Marra who currently works at the Migratory Bird Center at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. He once worked with Dauphine who called the battle between cats and birds “one-sided slaughter” and was found guilty in 2011.

I know what I am about to say here is incredibly simplistic and dumb but birds have wings and in most cases they can fly away from a cat. As for mice or other small mammals cats like to kill I feel bad but I’m not concerned for the rodent population.

Another recent cat vs.bird study looked at the population of “clumsy” Yelkouan Shearwater seabirds on the French island of Le Levant. The birds are being picked off by cats and conservationists are concerned but here in the United States I don’t know if we have a serious feline problem yet when urbanization and cars are responsible for the deaths of birds too.

cat-pigeons-alvimannWhen I moved to Ohio from California I left my cat behind with my family because she was old and not accustomed to traveling. My cat wore a bell around her neck at all times for various reasons but mostly it was for the smaller creatures she would be tempted to hunt.

Yes, I irresponsibly let my cat roam free but I tried to do my part to protect wildlife by giving them a warning bell. Besides I didn’t want my cat bringing dead mice into the house as “presents.” Can the mice and birds hear the bell? I have no idea but the bell sure is cute.

 

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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