Cats Again Kill Critically Endangered Birds


Orange-bellied parrots are among the world’s most critically endangered birds, with fewer than 50 individuals still in existence in the forests of Australia. Although conservationists have been working tirelessly to boost their numbers through captive breeding programs, their progress was hindered recently by the taboo wanderings of one very naughty kitty.

According to wildlife officials, the unauthorized feline managed to breach the premises of a secured breeding center in Tasmania last month. Once inside, the bad cat then actually entered the parrots’ enclosure through a small hole and began to terrorize the extremely rare birds.

In the resulting panic, two parrots died — no small number considering just how few of these animals remain.

The bird-killing culprit may have remained a mystery if it weren’t for the cat’s poor planning. As it turns out, squeezing into the parrot’s enclosure was easier than getting out; staff members actually discovered the problem pet two days later, still hiding inside with the birds.

Environment Minister Brian Wightman broke the news to the Australian Parliament yesterday, as reported by The Mercury.

“With a population of perhaps fewer than 50 individuals [in the wild], the species is critically endangered. That is why it is very important we have correct housing for these birds,” he said.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Orange-bellied parrots have had problems with cats. In fact, one of the main contributing factors for the species’ dramatic decline is from the introduction of foreign predators where once they had none — and sweet little house cats have proven to be among the most devastating killers.

Given estimates that these birds could go extinct within five years, conservationists are taking captive breeding programs very seriously. So far, just over 200 parrots have hatched thanks to these efforts, bolstering hopes for the species’ long term survival.

Tags: Australia | Birds | Endangered Species Wikipedia

About narhvalur

Environmentalist, Animal Lover, Birder,Equastrian
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11 Responses to Cats Again Kill Critically Endangered Birds

  1. Tanya Kiesha says:

    It’s definitely sad that cats pose such a problem to these birds.
    From what I’ve read on other websites, the best way to prevent cats from hunting birds is to keep them indoors. It’s better for cats for several reasons: they’ll be safe from getting hit by traffic, they’ll be less likely to get rabies, and won’t be able to accidentally ingest fertilizers and pesticides when they chew on grass and leaves. It’s also better for birds because the cats won’t be able to get to them.

    Stray cats also hunt- people can spay/neuter them through trap and release programs, or by adopting them. We’ve done trap and release for the strays around my building.

  2. narhvalur says:

    Thanks for your comment! Personally I don’t believe in trap and release programs with other conservationists. Cats still kill birds and other small mammals. Only in the US cats kill over 38 billion birds and small mammals annually!
    Here’s one link from National Geographic on the harm on wildlife that cats pose:

  3. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    Very good post

  4. narhvalur says:

    Thank you:) !

  5. narhvalur says:

    Thanks for the reblog!:)

  6. Luanne says:

    This is why house cats belong in houses.

  7. narhvalur says:

    That’s what American Bird Conservancy recommend!

  8. amaezed says:

    We here in Australia find that the bird population is somewhat thinning out. Only larger birds that hang higher up that pussy’s can’t get to survive. It’s alarming that cat lovers aren’t penalised for having no restraints on their cats. Cat aren’t native to Australia…much like rabbits, and camels who cause havoc amongst the native species…not to mention the tree which cause degredation to soil salinity and drain vast amounts of valuable water needed for food.

  9. narhvalur says:

    Thanks for your comment. The domestic cat is an invasive species that cause havoc in the Nature. Unfortunately, there will hardly be any measures taken against the cats as even conservationists deny that cats kill birds and other wildlife.
    I’m a birder in Sweden and has pointed out the huge number of birds that cats kill , but even bird people don’t care:(((. The future looks very dark re changing people’s opinions. If a cat kills a bird , they just say ” it’s just a bird”

  10. sherayx says:

    Ur very welcome, thanks for posting.

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