Web Site Tracks Birds' Worst Enemies: Cats:
Experts say outdoor cats may kill hundreds of millions of wild birds each year -- but they aren't exactly sure how many. They're now asking the public for help. If your household pet brings in a treat, experts hope you'll visit a new Web site to fill in all the gory details.
(Via NPR News: Health & Science.)
This is an interesting idea and I am looking forward to seeing the results, though the survey results will provide little more than anecdotal evidence.
I am not sure how successful cats are at getting birds. We have lots of cats in the neighborhood, but I rarely see evidence of bird attacks. The evidence, loose feathers on the ground with no body parts, could represent a failed attack or could result from other neighborhood predators such as coopers hawks.
I also do not see a drop in bird populations. This is probably the result of living in an urban setting where cat and bird populations have stabilized.
I think that cats are a much greater problem for reptiles and amphibians. They are much easier for cats to catch and are virtually extinct in the neighborhood (I have seen a couple of salamanders and one lizard in the eight years I have lived in San Jose).
Still, there is great need to reduce feral cat populations, especially those living in fringe environments. Feral cat populations place greater stresses on indigenous species already stressed by encroaching human populations.Here is a link to the survey