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February 9, 2010

House Pets and Wild Birds.

The month of Februrary brings together two important awarenesses.  Both of which are not only impactful towards our environment, but relevant to each other as well.  Prevent a Litter Month and National Wild Bird-Feeding Month.  To be completely successful in making an impact, we must first understand the importance of both and how they relate to each other. 

In 2001 a biologist and an ecologist conducted a survey of the hunting habits of 77 house cats in a small village in Britain.  With the cooperation of the owners, they collected and identified the remains brought home by the cats during the year-long study.  Of the 1100 prey, 64% were small mammals (mostly wood mice, field voles, and common shrews).  The remainder were songbirds.  They estimated that cats kill at least 20 million birds each year. 
The current U.S. census shows that there are over 60 million cats kept as pets.  A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found over 114 free-ranging cats per square mile.  This is several times greater than all other native predators of similar size, includin foxes, skunks, opossums, and racoons. 

Think about this. 
How important do you think birds are to our environment?
What impact do you think you are having on those birds by allowing your beloved pets to have litters you can't keep?
The month of February we focus on what we can all do to help the bird population (and why) and how to become responsible pet owners.

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