Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

“The Evil of the Outdoor Cat”

Take a quick read of this interesting article, The Evil of the Outdoor Cat, by Richard Conniff, an author who writes about wildlife for Smithsonian, National Geographic and other magazines. I was startled by how much wildlife outdoor cats are eliminating from this planet. The author tells his story of “Lucky,” his outdoor cat (prior to his demise one unlucky night). He has chosen to never have another outdoor cat again.

Using deliberately conservative assumptions, federal researchers recently estimated that free-ranging cats killed about 2.4 billion birds annually in the Lower 48 states, a substantial bite out of the total bird population. Outdoor cats also kill about 12.3 billion small mammals a year ā€” not just the proverbial rats and mice but also chipmunks, rabbits and squirrels ā€” and about 650 million reptiles and amphibians. In some cases, they are pushing endangered species toward extinction.

I really love hearing the birds in the morning. Do you?

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