Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Report: Cats kill billions
NEW YORK TIMES
For all the adorable images of cats that play the piano and find their way home over hundreds of miles, scientists have identified a shocking new truth: Cats are far deadlier than anyone realized.
In a report that expanded results from local surveys, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that U.S. domestic cats -- both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it -- kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native animals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.
The estimated kill rates are two to four times as high as those previously bandied about, and they position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills, or other similar causes.