Now that Park City has effectively ended the War on Dogs (bravo) by opening up regulations on off-leash dogs, we suppose it is time to turn our attention to another animal that may actually be wreaking more havoc in our ecosystem.
No, this animal isn’t biting you at Round Valley. It isn’t knocking you off your bike on the Rail Trail… but it is killing the wildlife we all know and love. What animal is it? (Ok, we know you know what animal it is from the title). The CAT!
A reader sent in an article from the Washington Post highlighting the damage cats do to our environment. According to the Washington Post report, “Outdoor are the leading cause of death among both birds and mammals in the United States, according to a new study, killing 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds each year.” According to the study cited from Nature Communications, “Researchers estimate that one pet cat kills one to 34 birds a year, while a feral cat kills 23 to 46 birds annually. As a result, the new study provides a wide range of the total bird death count.”
I know that our community’s focus on animal deaths is centered on moose hit by cars. However, is a moose or elk life more important than a bird or marmot? Probably not. Something is still killed that we wished wasn’t so (and for no reason… there is no value in it).
So, do we call for a ban on cats in Park City? Do we start a campaign to eradicate feral cats? No. But it does put priorities in order. We spent years talking about off-leash dogs that anger people (and in some cases have bitten people…although our area’s numbers are below average). However, we haven’t spent one minute discussing a species that has likely killed thousands of wild animals in the past couple of years.
Why not? Good question.
h/t to the reader who sent this in