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Old 09-28-2019, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Don't forget the impact from free ranging or feral cats. For years I've seen cat predation estimates of 3 million songbirds a year in the US alone. Not sure if the article teased out birdstrike mortality due to communication towers, wind turbines and solar panel arrays. Some wind turbines located in specific migratory corridors kill a huge number of migrating birds every year.
While of course feral cats, other things do impact, things like feral cats have been around the US for a very long time, yet the bird issue is relatively recent. Feral cats are just an extension of development as the feral population tends to follow.
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:41 AM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
While of course feral cats, other things do impact, things like feral cats have been around the US for a very long time, yet the bird issue is relatively recent. Feral cats are just an extension of development as the feral population tends to follow.
I don't know what you consider "recent" and it may not really matter. I can recall reading articles about feral pet predation from 20-30 years ago. Threats ebb, flow, and transform. Wetland losses in the 30s reduced significant habitat, but with wetland restoration/conservation that particular threat was reduced. Gross organic water pollution was a problem up into the 70s but isn't as much of a problem now. It was replaced by toxins of another sort...more difficult to deal with (heavy metals, toxic salts, PCBs and other industrial contaminants). Pesticides another example. Some earlier nastier ones were banned but they were replaced by others more troublesome in other less direct ways. Maybe instead of killing birds outright they killed indirectly by targeting bird prey insects. Feral pets are probably more of a problem now than they were 30 years ago simply due to human and cat population increases.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:30 AM
 
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Yes, relatively recent is 20-30 years ago, cats have been here, feral, since we can just start at the founding of the US, lol, but of course go back further. Through the 1800 and 1900's, feral cats existed, yet the dramatic drop in birds is a recent, 20-30 year event, not near as dramatic as before. In areas with little to no feral cat populations, there still is a drop in birds. So my point is while the feral cats and other things do contribute, it is trivial compared to the recent factors, whatever they are, that have popped up in the last few decades. I would say adding 100 million people to the US alone, and expanding farmland by who knows how many millions of acres, has had a large impact. To that, advancements in herbicides and insecticides, which significantly reduce the food supply, has an impact as well.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:05 PM
 
Location: New York
840 posts, read 688,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
While of course feral cats, other things do impact, things like feral cats have been around the US for a very long time, yet the bird issue is relatively recent. Feral cats are just an extension of development as the feral population tends to follow.
while feral cats have always been around, their population has exploded too. This is actually in regard to pet cats taken from pet food statistics. About 30 million in 1970, to over 90 million today. that's just household cats, many of which spend their days outside doing what felines do. (killing birds, mice, frogs, etc.).

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/..._fig1_41101366

so let's say half that number, 45 million cats are out and about prowling daily. let's say half are successful in catching a bird. even at 1 bird per week that is still 22 million birds per week!!!

This is why irresponsible pet owners lose their cats when they venture on my property. I consider them feral, and a threat to not only my chickens but all birds out there.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:36 PM
 
16,452 posts, read 14,035,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouse789 View Post
while feral cats have always been around, their population has exploded too. This is actually in regard to pet cats taken from pet food statistics. About 30 million in 1970, to over 90 million today. that's just household cats, many of which spend their days outside doing what felines do. (killing birds, mice, frogs, etc.).

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/..._fig1_41101366

so let's say half that number, 45 million cats are out and about prowling daily. let's say half are successful in catching a bird. even at 1 bird per week that is still 22 million birds per week!!!

This is why irresponsible pet owners lose their cats when they venture on my property. I consider them feral, and a threat to not only my chickens but all birds out there.
Those are pet cat numbers, not feral numbers, you cannot infer anything from those numbers regarding this subject.

If you want to infer, well, most of the population live in urban areas, so these pets would hardly have the opportunity to decimate large numbers of bird species being they are in such urban, heavily developed areas.

The numbers I seen for feral cats is around 50 million, a lot, a whole lot, but most of these are living in heavy developed, urbanized areas, which limits the impact they are having on bird populations. But as I said, this is just a sub-category of development as a cause.

Anecdotally, take Key West for example, it has a huge, dense feral cat population, yet the island has tons of birds and chickens on it despite the large number of feral cats. While highly developed, this development has a lot of green space everywhere, even homes over grown with trees, bushes, etc. In theory, the island should be wiped clean of birds given the number of feral cats, but in reality, it is one of the most bird heavy areas in any developed part of S. FL.

Not saying I support ferals or anything, i wish there were none and I wish people would not let their cats roam. However, I do not feel they are a significant impact on the bird population. What I do feel are the largest impacts are development, farming, and insecticide use. Plowing over millions and millions of acres in the last 30 years is going to have a significant impact. Killing trillions of insects, depriving a vital food source, is going to have a significant impact.

Back in the day when I worked construction, new development for homes, we would just clean cut the entire area, all trees, grass, everything, wiped clean. I help do this to thousands of acres in my few years in construction. I am sure this impacted tens of thousands of birds at that time, let alone the many more future generations that will not be born, and this was just me in my little corner of the world
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:00 PM
KCZ
 
1,840 posts, read 1,062,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Yes, relatively recent is 20-30 years ago, cats have been here, feral, since we can just start at the founding of the US, lol, but of course go back further. Through the 1800 and 1900's, feral cats existed, yet the dramatic drop in birds is a recent, 20-30 year event, not near as dramatic as before. In areas with little to no feral cat populations, there still is a drop in birds. So my point is while the feral cats and other things do contribute, it is trivial compared to the recent factors, whatever they are, that have popped up in the last few decades. I would say adding 100 million people to the US alone, and expanding farmland by who knows how many millions of acres, has had a large impact. To that, advancements in herbicides and insecticides, which significantly reduce the food supply, has an impact as well.
Many sources estimate that there are currently 80 million feral cats in the US, not counting pets that are allowed outdoors part-time. This review article concluded that feral cats kill 1.3 to 4.0 billion birds annually. https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms2380 . There are other reports in the literature that suggest that trap-neuter-release programs have done little to abate the problem. Another big contributor to bird mortality is glass strikes, i.e. birds flying into windows. Both of those factors have a bigger impact than habitat loss.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:35 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,065 posts, read 1,178,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
Those are pet cat numbers, not feral numbers, you cannot infer anything from those numbers regarding this subject.

If you want to infer, well, most of the population live in urban areas, so these pets would hardly have the opportunity to decimate large numbers of bird species being they are in such urban, heavily developed areas.

The numbers I seen for feral cats is around 50 million, a lot, a whole lot, but most of these are living in heavy developed, urbanized areas, which limits the impact they are having on bird populations. But as I said, this is just a sub-category of development as a cause.

Anecdotally, take Key West for example, it has a huge, dense feral cat population, yet the island has tons of birds and chickens on it despite the large number of feral cats. While highly developed, this development has a lot of green space everywhere, even homes over grown with trees, bushes, etc. In theory, the island should be wiped clean of birds given the number of feral cats, but in reality, it is one of the most bird heavy areas in any developed part of S. FL.

Not saying I support ferals or anything, i wish there were none and I wish people would not let their cats roam. However, I do not feel they are a significant impact on the bird population. What I do feel are the largest impacts are development, farming, and insecticide use. Plowing over millions and millions of acres in the last 30 years is going to have a significant impact. Killing trillions of insects, depriving a vital food source, is going to have a significant impact.

Back in the day when I worked construction, new development for homes, we would just clean cut the entire area, all trees, grass, everything, wiped clean. I help do this to thousands of acres in my few years in construction. I am sure this impacted tens of thousands of birds at that time, let alone the many more future generations that will not be born, and this was just me in my little corner of the world

Good points....To keep things in perspective, American garbage dumps will cover an additional 1000sq mi over the next century (but will be returned to rec areas or natural habitat eventually) while 1500 sq mi of natural habitat are permanently lost to human development annually.

Re- feral cats-- not really a problem. There's the old lesson about evolution & the web of life: how fast does the slowest antelope have to run to stay alive?-- faster than the fastest lion....and how fast does the slowest lion have to run to stay alive? Faster than the slowest antelope.


It's best for the population if the slow, dumb birds that get caught by cats are eliminated from the gene pool.


The real problem is when an exotic species, say a snake in Hawaii, is introduced and ground nesting birds that were never exposed to such a threat before are put at a new risk. Their numbers may be reduced below that magic threshold where the species can't survive....As long as they stay above that number, a new dynamic equilibrium will be reached & sustained....That's life in the jungle.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:50 PM
 
1,557 posts, read 875,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Typical pseudo-scientific trash.


For starters, they quote 3 BILLION!!! as if we're going to be impressed by such large numbers. What's the total population? 3 Billion may or may not be much.


Secondly, what's their method of counting? The paper is paywalled with only the abstract visible to the general public. Apparently they used "radar" to estimate biomass of flocks. I can think of several reasons why birds may be flying in smaller flocks now and are literally and figuratively "under the radar" or are just avoiding larger airport/radar installations and inaccurately counted. (Chicago's O'Hare was built in an apple orchard, hence the station ID of ORD in the 30s. It's now in the center of the megalopolis. It's not going to record too many birds that now avoid it. [Additional problem is estimating the accuracy of such radar measurements. What are they checking them against?]


The other common method of estimating (note "estimating" and not "counting") is to rely on "citizen scientists" to report sightings. Do we really need to explain the dangers in that method ?


Increasing human population means decreasing availability of habitat, as 007 correctly points out above. I saw my last Baltimore Oriole in the Chicago area about 60 yrs ago. I moved to WI recently and they are everywhere from May thru July. And I thought they were endangered. Not so. Loss of habitat for feeding and breeding grounds is a major problem for MotherNature, but The PanicMongers looking for additional research funds are over-estimating the problem.



You are too funny. You thought Baltimore Orioles were endangered? Then you deserved to be surprised when you find them everywhere, which, as a very common species which is known to be very common, is exactly where you should expect them to be found. So proving yourself a fool doesn't prove anything about Orioles, but it does prove something about your gullibility for right wing fake news.
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:23 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,065 posts, read 1,178,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
You are too funny. You thought Baltimore Orioles were endangered? Then you deserved to be surprised when you find them everywhere, which, as a very common species which is known to be very common, is exactly where you should expect them to be found. So proving yourself a fool doesn't prove anything about Orioles, but it does prove something about your gullibility for right wing fake news.
a) I didn't say that I had read that orioles were endangered. I'll type slower next time so you can keep up.


2) Please point out a right wing source decrying the problem of endangered species and
"we're all gunna die in 10 yrs (again)!.. and It's worse than we thought!"
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:36 AM
 
4,206 posts, read 2,906,804 times
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I couldn't read the article, but I'll guess some of this is from increased radiation from electromagnetic fields - 3G, 4G, 5G.

We intentionally live in a smaller town, heavily wooded neighborhood with streams and ponds. Right now I see about 20 birds that have been in my front yard all morning. We have no shortage of wildlife here and we hope we as humans are healthier in this environment as well.
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