The American Bird Conservancy has released a 9 minute video on YouTube coming out against Trap, Neuter and Release programs for feral cat colonies. Watch out at a minute and forty seconds, there's some really cool footage of three different warbler species bathing. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fvN7FNUPas[/youtube]
I have to say that I am having trouble getting on board with this message. I do agree that feral cat colonies are not good for birds, wildlife, cats, and humans. I don't think cats should be free roaming, they have a shorter lifespan, they spread disease, and birds that are facing challenges at every turn from windows, cell phone towers, pollution, the added pressure of a non native predator doesn't help.
I know some pro feral colony groups say that cats aren't the reason for bird species decline, it's habitat loss. Cats are habitat loss. If you have an introduced predator--especially one that is chasing birds for play and not a source of food, that is a loss of habitat. These birds did not evolve with this predator so there is no balance for evading them. Cats are not the sole source of bird species decline, but they certainly do contribute to it in a significant way.
But here's the issue I have. The video profiles a Key Largo feral cat colony that peaked with over 2000 feral cats. The home owners association put together a trap, neuter and release program and they now have less than 500 cats--and that's even with idiots still dumping cats into the colony...yet ABC calls this ineffective.
What? I'm sorry, how is reducing a colony by over 1500 not effective?
Okay, they haven't eliminated the cats entirely, but the cat issue is not going to be solved overnight. I think this makes the ABC look a little fanatical and a little off base.