Yesterday Gizmodo Blog published a shocking article claiming that cats are an ecological disaster(as well as other rodents). But it fails to point the finger at one key issue: the pervasiveness of human industry, with its unrelenting clearings of animal habitats.
The article publishes claims like these, citing a global analysis:
“Cats are an ecological disaster—they’re shaping up to be one of the biggest contributors to the sixth mass extinction. A global analysis published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences finds that feral cats have helped drive at least 63 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles into the dirt over the past 500 years. The only group of invasive predators that’s done more harm is rodents, which are linked to 75 species extinctions.”
Later, the article states:
“This summer, New Zealand announced its intention to eradicate all introduced predators by 2050, including rats, possums, stoats, ferrets, and feral cats. But how exactly the island nation plans on achieving that remains to be seen.”
Flawed Conclusion and Industrial-Funding for Cited Study
Of note, the Academy of Sciences which published this report receives its funding from the government and private funders, like corporations. (“About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, and funds provided by the Academies member organizations.” – Nationalacademies.org ).
Tim Doherty, a key scientist mentioned in these types of studies, himself speaks of the reduction of habitats through clearings… so why is there an emphasis on “management”(killing) of these rodents and cats in this meta study?
Deforestation and Industry
The truth is, man is responsible for more damage to the ecosystem in New Zealand than all other life there. Cats don’t build roadways and they certainly don’t destroy 4-8 acres of forest a day! Human kind is responsible and the solutions to saving the biodiversity of this planet lies not in attacking other species!
This is where the research should be focused – on reducing man’s footprint, not on lethally removing living creatures entirely from Austrailia. Nature is not a simple thing, when you cut out a piece of the chain – you can accelerate the damage already being done by man. Take a look at the below infographics and become informed about deforestation’s effects on biodiversity, Doherty and scientists!
Industry stands to gain from this “meta study” as it takes away their responsibility for their actions. Meanwhile, wildlife suffers a huge loss as yet another link in the chain is needlessly targeted by mankind.