Feral Cats Are Killing Millions Of Native Aussie Birds Each Year

Feral Cats Are Killing Millions Of Native Aussie Birds Each Year

The researchers found evidence of cats killing 338 bird types nearly half of Australia's native species, including 71 threatened species such as the spotted quail thrush, the squatter pigeon, and the night parrot.

Better sort out a collar and bell for your pet moggie - Aussie researchers have found millions of native birds are killed each year by the ordinary house cat.

Recently published in the science journal Biological Conservation, the research was undertaken by a team of leading Australian environmental scientists from the Threatened Species Recovery Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme and compiles evidence from over 200 separate studies.

Data pooled from the dozens of studies showed some 316 million birds are killed by feral cats every year in Australia.

"It is likely to be driving the ongoing decline of many species".


Australia's Threatened Species Commissioner Sebastian Lang called the study "extremely important and of great concern".

The estimates are based on results from almost 100 studies across the country, each sampling cat density, and another set of almost 100 studies across the country that assessed cat diet.

The study is catching all the attention with a feel of risk that the feral as well as pet cats are posing to the threatened animals of Australia.

Under the government's Threatened Species Strategy, more than Aus$30 million (US$23 million) has been mobilised for projects to reduce the impact of feral cats on wildlife. Crunching the numbers, the researchers found that cats are killing 338 different bird species in Australia, and 71 of them are threatened varieties.

We provide the first continental-scale attempt to model bird species' traits that are associated with likelihood of being killed by cats, and use such modelling to attempt to redress some inevitable biases in compilation of predation records on birds.

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