Browsing the archives for the Nico Dauphiné tag

Jake and Lily

Over the past few months, I’ve heard from several people familiar with Nico Dauphine’s cat-trapping activities in and around Athens, GA, during her days as a PhD student at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Three years ago, in Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court, Dauphine referred to her roundups as “community service.”:
“Oh, I do [...]

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Devolution In the Classroom: Three Editions of F. Gill’s “Ornithology”

For more than 20 years now, Gill’s classic text has been required reading for ornithology students. While the book’s attention to conservation issues has expanded over its three editions, its treatment of the impact of cats on bird populations reflects an unsettling shift away from science.

The hoards of students descending upon college campuses this fall [...]

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Community Service

On October 24th, Nico Dauphine is scheduled to appear in court, charged with attempted animal cruelty related to the poisoning of cats in her Columbia Heights neighborhood. (The latest continuance, requested by the prosecution and granted earlier this month, pushes the trial date back two full months.)
It won’t be the first time her “involvement” with [...]

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Fantasy Islands

Thirty-three: that’s how many species of birds have been driven to extinction by feral cats. At least.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve stumbled across references to this figure over the past couple years. Not once, however, have I seen more than one species (usually the Stephens Island Wren, its story having been twisted [...]

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MoJo Losing Its Mojo

Mother Jones, according to its Website, “is a nonprofit news organization that specializes in investigative, political, and social justice reporting.”
“…smart, fearless journalism” keeps people informed—“informed” being pretty much indispensable to a democracy that actually works. Because we’ve been ahead of the curve time and again. Because this is journalism not funded by or beholden to [...]

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Akron

On June 25, 2002—nine years ago tomorrow—Akron, Ohio’s Ordinance 332-2002 went into effect.
The “cat ordinance,” as it’s typically called in newspaper accounts, made it illegal for cats to be “off the premises of the owner and not under restraint by leash, cord, wire, strap, chain, or similar device or fence or secure enclosure adequate to [...]

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(Animal) Wise Guy II

My sincere thanks to Animal Wise Radio hosts Mike Fry and Beth Nelson for having me back on the show—this time to discuss the recent arrest of National Zoo researcher Nico Dauphine on charges of attempted animal cruelty and the Smithsonian’s subsequent reaction.
If you missed it, you can check out the complete show in podcast [...]

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Spoiler Alert

Coming up this Wednesday: “Impacts of Free Roaming Cats on Native Wildlife,” a Webinar sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Registration, from what I can tell, appears to be open to the public—though I’m still awaiting a confirmation e-mail (which will include, I hope, some clarification re: time zone for this “2:00–3:00 pm” [...]

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Apocalypse Meow: A Brief Review

Although Nico Dauphine has yet to be suspended from her duties at the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center, it seems all the attention she’s received over the past week-and-a-half is making life rather uncomfortable for her supporters.
Last week, the National Zoo removed Dauphine’s online application for recruiting field assistants from its Website; this week, the University [...]

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Friends with Benefits

According to their 2009 Annual Report (the most recent available), Friends Of the National Zoo raised $17.5M in “total support and revenue” during 2009. Of that, $1.4M went to the National Zoo and Smithsonian Institution. But FONZ support doesn’t end there.
Consider the response I received from a FONZ spokesperson when I inquired about their position [...]

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Perfectly Comfortable? I’m Not.

As many of you know, the National Zoo has shown no signs of suspending Nico Dauphine, despite her recent arrest on charges of attempted animal cruelty. As a result, at least two petitions are being circulated—one by Alley Cat Rescue, and another by Alley Cat Allies.
I encourage readers to sign both petitions, and also to [...]

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Nico Dauphine Update

Photo from an online application form Nico Dauphine was (until Tuesday) using to hire field assistants, whose duties include “assist[ing] citizen participants in deploying miniature collar-mounted cameras on their free-roaming pet domestic cats.”
Tuesday, while animal welfare organizations across the country were issuing statements condemning the alleged cruelty and urging justice in the case, Nico Dauphine’s [...]

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Predator-Prey Dynamics In an Urban Matrix

According to the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center, Nico Dauphine’s “current project examines predator-prey dynamics in an urban matrix in collaboration with citizen scientists at Neighborhood Nestwatch.” But according to news stories coming out of the Washington, DC, area this evening, it seems Dauphine may have taken on the role of predator herself.
NBC reports: “Authorities say [...]

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It’s Not the Media, It’s the Message

To hear The Wildlife Society’s staunch opponents of TNR tell it, the media’s just not interested in stories about “the impacts of free-ranging and feral cats on wildlife.”

“This January when thousands of blackbirds fell from the sky in Arkansas, articles about mass extinctions and bird conservation were a dime-a-dozen. When the Deepwater Horizon oil [...]

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Best Available Science?

After a while, I suppose, such things will no longer surprise me.
A couple weeks ago, the American Bird Conservancy released a statement in support of the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex Integrated Predator Management Plan/Draft Environmental Assessment proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS):
“American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, [...]

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Exceptional Predator

Using Google to translate the page’s contents, it seems this bird—despite “mock[ing] the cat and with loud cries of diving at him from the branches of acacia”—was yet another one that got away.
In the third edition of his massive book Ornithology—“the classic text for the undergraduate ornithology course,” according to the description on Amazon.com—Frank Gill [...]

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Revisiting “Reassessment”

“Reassessment: A Closer Look at ‘Critical Assessment of Claims Regarding Management of Feral Cats by Trap-Neuter-Return’” has been revised and expanded!

This paper, a brief review and critique of the essay “Critical Assessment of Claims Regarding Management of Feral Cats by Trap-Neuter-Return” by Travis Longcore, Catherine Rich, and Lauren M. Sullivan, now includes sections [...]

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On Invasion and Persuasion

Smithsonian magazine is, according to its website, “created for modern, well-rounded individuals with diverse interests” and “chronicles the arts, history, sciences and popular culture of the times.” Jess Righthand’s recent article, “The World’s Worst Invasive Mammals,” seems—despite its inclusion in the online edition’s “Science & Nature” section—better suited for the pop culture category.
Indeed, the story [...]

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American Bird Con

For years now, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has been promoting erroneous and misleading information in their tireless effort to vilify free-roaming cats. No organization has been more effective at working the anti-TNR pseudoscience into a message neatly packaged for the mainstream media, and eventual consumption by the general public. Speaking to the Wall Street [...]

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Rap(tor) Sheet

Perhaps it’s an act of desperation, this “kitchen sink” approach favored by some free-roaming cat/TNR opponents. Throw everything—including the kitchen sink—into the anti-cat argument, and perhaps something will stick. Their impact on wildlife and the environment, for instance, or their threat to public safety—it seems there’s something for everybody. (Surely it’s only a matter of [...]

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