Monday, March 17, 2008

Cape May's feral cats...

continue to generate news coverage. In "The Buffalo News," Gerry Rising recently wrote

Deputy Cape May Mayor Neils Favre reported receiving 600 e-mails in a single day from cat supporters, and almost 100 protesters attended council meetings. Among other things the cat backers claimed that no proof had been provided that any birds at all had been killed.

Sadly, no similar effort was mounted on behalf of the endangered birds.
What do birders need to do differently -- and soon! -- so that they present similar support for birds in situations like this?

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5 Comments:

Blogger thepowerguides said...

I did not realize what a problem feral cats could be , I think apart from the barn cats which most farmers cull from time to time feral cats don't survive that well round here to many coyotes

steve

March 17, 2008 5:37 PM  
Blogger John said...

I think that some degree of organization is necessary to have a large-scale response on any given issue. People are busy, so pushing large numbers from concern to action requires providing them with information about what the issues are and whom to contact. Alley Cat Allies had petitions set up on their website to send to government officials (thus the 600 emails). In contrast, NJ Audubon took no position on the issue and does not even mention it on its websites. I'm not sure if any national associations got involved. Most birding email lists forbid discussion of cats, and some even discourage talk about environmental politics or activism. Blogs could pay some role in organizing responses, but our regular readership is small compared to the reach of other organizing methods. In the absence of organization, I think the unbalanced response is predictable.

March 18, 2008 9:05 AM  
Blogger dguzman said...

Oh gees, of all places to have the problem--in Cape May! This is just such a tough issue. It seems to me that if birders could get behind one unified position (i.e. catch- neuter-release, for instance) then maybe there wouldn't be this big us vs. them to-do. But as John noted, it seems like most birding organizations want to stay away from the entire topic - which doesn't help matters at all.

March 24, 2008 10:38 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

What the hell? Where were all the NJ birders????
Blogs, as John said, have a small readership compared to the massive amount of cat-loving sites. Birding blogs tend to attract birders, not TNR advocates.
I feel the need to start something. But it's late and I will have to formulate it further in the morning.
Dammit. Cape May is the most beautiful place I have yet to bird and to think of feral cats doing what they are hard-wired to do and allowed to do because of short-sighted people....man, I'm pissed.

March 25, 2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

"Where were all the NJ birders????"

Good question, Susan, very good question.

March 26, 2008 9:24 AM  

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