Browsing the archives for the American Bird Conservancy tag

CDC Doing the American Bird Conservancy’s Bidding?

Representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sign on to the American Bird Conservancy’s witch-hunt against free-roaming cats, misrepresenting the relevant science to support their claim that “rabies transmission via feral cats is a particular concern.”

“Feral cat populations,” argue the authors of a recently published paper, “must be reduced and eliminated to manage [...]

0 Comments

Research Brief: “Fearing the Feline”

Despite its dramatic-sounding conclusions, UK research into the “sub-lethal effects” of cats reveals very little about real-world predator-prey dynamics or their potential impact on bird populations.
Common blackbird. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Andreas Trepte.
“A new study from British scientists has documented for the first time, significant new impacts to birds from outdoor cats,” announced [...]

0 Comments

Brighter Days Ahead for the Sunshine State’s Cats?

Feral cat advocates were more than ready for some good news when, last Wednesday afternoon, we got some. Florida House Bill 1121, supported by Best Friends Animal Society, Alley Cat Allies, and the Humane Society of the United States, made it through the 11-member House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee with unanimous approval. Among the [...]

0 Comments

The American Bird Conservancy’s Campaign of Killing

“The only sure way to protect wildlife, cats and people is for domestic cats to be permanently removed from the outdoor environment,” argues American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick in a Baltimore Sun op-ed published earlier this week.
“Trap-neuter-release programs that perpetuate the slaughter of wildlife and encourage the dumping of unwanted cats is [sic] a [...]

0 Comments

American Bird Conservancy Calls for Killing of Cats

I don’t imagine USA Today has ever been accused of producing substantive journalism. And, judging from a worthless he-said/she-said-we-report-you-decide story in yesterday’s edition, that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
OK, not worthless, exactly. After all, American Bird Conservancy president George Fenwick finally went on record calling for the killing of free-roaming cats: “I detest the [...]

0 Comments

Serious Public Health Issues? Seriously?

Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and CDC/Jim Gathany.
“This is a significant study that documents serious wildlife and public health issues associated with 125 million outdoor cats in the United States,” explained the American Bird Conservancy’s vice president for conservation advocacy, Darin Schroeder, in a September 18 press release. [1] Schroeder was [...]

0 Comments

Mother Dearest

Is it possible I’ve been banned from posting comments on the Mother Jones website—the online home of “smart, fearless journalism”? It certainly looks that way.
Despite several attempts throughout the day Wednesday, my response to senior editor Kiera Butler’s “Kitties, Rabies, the Plague, and You” has yet to appear in the comments. Meanwhile, the conversation continues. [...]

0 Comments

More Kitty Cams and PR Scams

“There’s hostility to lying, and there should be.” —Bob Woodward
With just six minutes and 34 seconds to play, I don’t imagine readers got very far with their bingo cards during Friday night’s episode of 20/20 (“The Camera Never Lies: Kitty Cam Killers”). (My apologies for not including Killing Spree—I should have seen that one [...]

0 Comments

Kitty Cams and PR Scams Bingo

Earlier this week, the American Bird Conservancy announced to eNewsletter subscribers that ABC president George Fenwick will be appearing on ABC News’ 20/20 tonight “in a segment about domestic cat predation on birds and other wildlife.”
“The program was prompted by an August American Bird Conservancy news release on a University of Georgia and National Geographic [...]

0 Comments

Collisions vs. Impacts

In the first of a two-part series (the first part of which aired Wednesday) on NPR’s Morning Edition, American Bird Conservancy ornithologist Christine Sheppard described her research into how birds respond to different types of glass. And the motivation behind it: the numbers of birds killed each year in building collisions.
“Our best estimate is 100 [...]

0 Comments

Kitty Cams and PR Scams

In a joint media release, the American Bird Conservancy and The Wildlife Society team up to misrepresent the results of a recent predation study, decrying the “ongoing slaughter of wildlife by outdoor cats.” Meanwhile the University of Georgia researcher contradicts her previous position that “cats aren’t as bad as biologists thought.”

“To be persuasive we must [...]

0 Comments

Prince George’s County, Maryland

“Bird lovers have just derailed a plan to save some alley cats from death at the hands of animal control,” writes Bruce Leshan in a WUSA-9 TV story that aired Tuesday. “When Prince George’s County Council woman Mary Lehman proposed to order animal control to release” TNR cats, “she ran into a storm of criticism [...]

0 Comments

Rabies: Some Much-Needed Perspective

Seven minutes and 35 seconds. That’s how long Robert Siegel, co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered, spoke with Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy about their new book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus.
Cats weren’t mentioned even once.
Was this a massive oversight? A coup perpetrated by the Powerful Cat Lobby, perhaps?
Hardly. “Veterinarians [...]

0 Comments

Oregon Man Diagnosed with Plague

According to last Friday’s USA Today, “Health officials have confirmed that an Oregon man has the plague after he was bitten while trying to take a dead rodent from the mouth of a stray cat.”
“State public health veterinarian Dr. Emilio DeBess said the man was infected when he was bitten by the stray his family [...]

0 Comments

Never Bet Against Irony

Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Darkone.
According to a recent story in The Charleston Gazette, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has, in recent years, made great strides in stopping the westward spread of the raccoon variant of the rabies virus. And a promising new vaccine, typically distributed in packets dropped [...]

0 Comments

What Coyotes Eat

Once again, the American Bird Conservancy misrepresents the science in order to fuel TNR opposition. Ironically, ABC’s claim that “outdoor cats make up 13–45 percent of coyote diets” is refuted by the very studies cited in their recent media release.

Coyote at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and photographer Rebecca Richardson.
Late last [...]

0 Comments

Seeds of Doubt

Last week, the Environment News Service reported: “Ohio lawn and garden care company Scotts Miracle-Gro has pleaded guilty to breaching federal pesticide laws by using an unapproved insecticide on bird seed sold nationwide for two years.”
“Scotts is proposing to pay a $4 million fine and give $500,000 to help support wildlife conservation and study. Judge [...]

0 Comments

Collisions, Predation, and Bird Populations

Masts of the Rugby Radio Station transmitter, Warwickshire, England. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Sreejithk2000.

Recent research suggests that collisions with buildings and communication towers have no significant effect on bird populations. These findings raise additional questions about the often-implied connection between predation by free-roaming cats and declining bird numbers.

According to the [...]

0 Comments

Portland Tribune Letter to the Editor

My sincere thanks to the folks at the Portland Tribune for publishing my letter to the editor, written in response to their January 19 story, “Fowl play: birders clash over wild-cat spaying.”
Why doesn’t anybody pin down Steve Holmer or anybody else at the American Bird Conservancy when they make their indefensible claims? Hundreds of millions [...]

0 Comments

We Report, You Decide

According to a story in last Saturday’s Akron Beacon Journal, the American Bird Conservancy “estimates there are 90 million wild cats nationwide, part of a free-roaming population that is killing more than a half billion birds annually.”
Beacon Journal readers unfamiliar with ABC’s free-roaming cats “message” probably assumed those “estimates” correspond to real numbers, give or [...]

0 Comments