10 Species Driven Toward Extinction by Cats
It’s been thousands of years since the first cats were domesticated, but we still don’t seem to have much control over them. Many people let their cats come and go as they please, and may forget – or not care – about house cats kill billions of birds and mammals every year. More than half of the domestic cats in the US spend time outdoors, and the animals have contributed to the extinction of at least 33 species worldwide. according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Feral cats may be the worst offenders, but pets that are allowed to roam outside also harm wildlife. The situation in Australia is so dire that officials have suggested killing about 2 million feral cats to stop their attack on endangered species. There are many programs in the US that aim to reduce feral cat populations by capturing, neutering, and releasing them — but the Fish and Wildlife Service warns that such programs don’t really protect native fauna from the cats.
Unfortunately, it is already too late for dozens of species, including the Wren of Stephens Island (a flightless songbird), the Crescent Nailtail Wallabyand the adorable desert bandicoot. Here we highlight just a few of the many species currently threatened by outdoor cats.
A previous version of this article was published on November 25, 2021.
https://gizmodo.com/8-species-driven-toward-extinction-by-cats-1848059691 10 Species Driven Toward Extinction by Cats