I’m a member of The Wildlife Society, and I read their blog, Making Tracks, which has a lot of great posts of interest to an urban ecologist. In particular, I like the posts of Michael Hutchins, the executive director of the organization. He is an unapologetic straight-shooter, especially on invasive species issues. He frequently writes about the problems with feral cats, which I consider a serious ecological problem.
This week there was a post linking to the Keep Animals Safe web site, sort of the Canadian counterpart of the American Bird Conservancy’s Cats Indoors campaign. What really attracted my attention was a piece on the Keep Animals Safe site from the Toronto Globe and Mail.
It’s an op-ed article looking at the ecologically detrimental contradictory public attitudes on domestic and wild animals. The author frames it around people freaking out when coyotes are spotted in residential areas, while having no problem* with the extremely heavy toll outdoor cats have on native wildlife. Add to this the irony that urban coyotes, given the circumstances they find themselves in, like to dine on outdoor cat.
The piece concludes:
It makes no sense to criminalize wild animals for doing what is normal for them, and then throw up our hands that domestic cats are too “wild” for us to limit their predation of native species. We have an obligation to give our wild animals the space they need, and to guard the animals that we have bred to be our companions.
*“That’s my Fifi; stone cold killah.” Repugnant.