Threatened species commissioner appointed tohelpsave native wildlife | E

To: "Kim Sterelny" <>
Subject: Threatened species commissioner appointed tohelpsave native wildlife | Environment |
From: "Greg and Val Clancy" <>
Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2014 17:23:31 +1000
Hi Kim,

I don’t doubt that the impact of cats varies considerably with the geographical 
location, amount of natural habitat nearby etc. but there are native rats and 
mice and I am sure the typical moggy won’t discriminate.  I saw a photo 
recently of a feral cat carrying a dead Ringtail Possum and cats often bring in 
small gliders such as Feathertail Gliders.  It would be good to have detailed 
scientific data to prove the case but in the absence of that data I would 
recommend that people keep their cats away from places where they can come into 
contact with native animals.  The impact on reptiles may be greater than the 
impact on birds.  There is also a school of thought that suggests that cats 
have only replaced the natural predators such as quolls but it is unlikely that 
the population size of quolls in a given area, even in their prime, would have 
reached the population size of domestic cats.



Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153  | 0429 601 960


From: Kim Sterelny 
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2014 4:57 PM
To: Greg and Val Clancy 
Cc: Denise Goodfellow ; Carl Clifford ; Birding Aus 
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Threatened species commissioner appointed tohelpsave 
native wildlife | Environment |


I have talked to quite a few ecologists about this at ANU, and the message I 
hear is much more mixed, suggesting that cat impact varies a lot from place to 
place, because cats do not only eat native animals, they eat a lot of rats, 
mice and rabbits. That said, there is a lot of variation in opinion.  

It is a while since I reread any of the work in WA on numbat reintroduction but 
at one stage their experimental manipulations on small mammal populations 
showed a large impact from fox control, but much less from cat control. Anyone 
kept up to date on this?

I'll come clean on this: I do have a domestic cat in inner Canberra where we 
rent, which takes a lot of rats (over 30 in one month) and no birds; I also 
have a bush property, and I would never keep a cat there (not until too old to 
hunt, anyway)


Kim Sterelny
Philosophy Program


ANU Contact Information 
Philosophy Program
Research School of the Social Sciences
Australian National University
0200 Canberra, ACT, Australia
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