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  •  Bunnies are as bad or worse for the ecology (7+ / 0-)

    Just ask Australia.   Of course man still tops either bunnies or kitties in the list of creatures that Mother Nature probably regrets...

    Outside kitties do kill a lot of wildlife, even wildlife that you don't see.   Some are more proficient at it than others.   They say that feral cats kill 128 to 339 "tiny creatures" a year (I assume they mean mice) but that estimate is laughably low.   My outside cat averages at least four mice a day, and that is just what he brings up from the field or what we see him catching.    He also eats squirrels and rabbits (it is amazing to see a cat eat a large rabbit, you wouldn't think the head would fit but nature has a solution that I will spare you...)

    I will say that your perspective of the tragedy of cats killing mice and rats changes when you find that the rats have made a nest out of your motorcycle seat and pissed over all of the off cuts of expensive wood that you were saving for future projects.

    Yes, yes, I know.   We live in a tiny house on a very large property.   We were adopted by a stray outside cat and when he passed on we took in two more from the shelter.   Support local spay and neuter programs; Orcas had a huge feral cat problem from some people back in the 70's who thought it unnatural to "fix" cats.   Over the years with a concentrated trap/spay/release program it has gotten to the point that our local shelter imports kitties from other shelters and there are much fewer reports of feral cats.

    So my take: get your cat spayed and never, ever buy a pet bunny.  

    •  rabbits aren't native to Australia though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka

      I think that's a big difference.

      "Let's do this!" - Leeroy Jenkins

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:55:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  neither are cats, and they are as big a problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shanikka, AaronInSanDiego

        From the Australian Government:

        The feral cat is found in nearly all habitats across Australia. It has caused the extinction of some species
        on islands and has contributed to the disappearance of many ground-dwelling birds and mammals on the
        mainland. Feral cat control is feasible on islands, but elsewhere, management is difficult due to the lack of
        effective and humane broad-scale control techniques, and the presence of domestic cats.
        PDF file:  http://www.environment.gov.au/...
      •  Same problem here as there -- lack of predators (0+ / 0-)

        which is an imbalance that my cat is working to solve.  

        Give this some serious thought.   There isn't a magic property to animals that make some automatically OK and some not.  Deer are native to Orcas Island but there are way too many of them (for a healthy ecology) with more each year.    We have disrupted the natural ecology by removing our main carnivore competitors -- wolves, bears, cougar.    The best ecological solution is not palatable; how many kids do we want to sacrifice to cougars in order to keep the deer population down?

        For an experiment in overgrazing, look at Spiden Island. (http://www.gailjohannesphotography.com/...)    It is the one island that stands out as you boat around, because it has almost no trees!    It looks like it belongs in Baja Mexico rather than the verdent San Juans.    Was it logged?   No, some jerk in the 20's brought in african game animals to shoot, there was an outcry and the hunting was stopped but the animals remain.   Without predators everything has been overgrazed, new trees cannot get started.  

        I have often told my wife that we should sneak a few cougars across some dark night, problem is how to catch one.

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