|To:||Jenny Bounds <>|
|Subject:||Draft ACT cat plan released for public comment|
|From:||David Rees <>|
|Date:||Mon, 8 Apr 2019 04:10:52 +0000|
'Interesting' figure on rosellas. I think figures quoted like this in isolation in such a press release are meaningless, not science and are unprofessional. More to the point, do you have serious evidence that numbers of such birds are declining in Canberra's suburbs, along with other related species, such as King parrots, Superb parrots and Red-rumped parrots? If so do we know why? I suspect the main 'rate limiting step' with these birds locally is most likely to be availability of nesting sites (age composition of native woodland) and competition with honey bees and birds such as Indian mynas for them (not to mention big yellow bulldozers having a go at old trees). There seems to be no shortage of food, native and exotic, as long as we don't cover the place with high density developments, which cat containment won't prevent....
The statement that cat containment made is 'effective' is I think misleading at best. Yes, you can probably argue there are less cats wandering in areas where containment is in place, that is a function of most Caberrans being law-abiding citizens. However, is there any evidence that numbers of such birds in suburbs where cats are contained (now for a number of years) are significantly different from similar suburbs nearby where they are not? My lived experience in the Gungahlin area, is that with these birds at least, there is no empirical difference. It would be nice to see some science done locally to actually nail this one. Its not the first time I've made this point, and I will make it again. Is there any evidence that having Mulligan's Flat free of such predators and others has made any difference to numbers of locally occurring bird numbers in there? Don't know I suspect is the current answer. Indeed, one could reasonably argue that some additional 'predation' on the current load of 'grazers' in there might actually improve matters for bird and other locally resident wildlife in there.
There is merit in cat-containment on animal health and welfare grounds and domestic harmony grounds where the argument on clear. I contain my animals for those reasons, not to mention sadistic people. I suspect enforcing containing cats to 'protect' native wildlife in suburbs will prove to be largely 'greenwash' in the grand scheme of things. It will come at a cost to the community at large (I know from experience) and there may be no measurable gain to wildlife as a result (will we bother to actually find out, unlikely, given no measurable gains are proposed), but we can all feel better that we made the community 'do something'. Meanwhile much bigger threatening processes continue......
On Mon, Apr 8, 2019 at 8:41 AM Jenny Bounds <> wrote:
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