Latest Issue of Science News


News

Cats kill more than one billion birds each year

New estimate suggests hunting felines take bigger bite than expected out of wildlife

Domestic cats kill many more wild birds in the United States than scientists thought, according to a new analysis. Cats may rank as the biggest immediate danger that living around people brings to wildlife, researchers say.

America’s cats, including housecats that adventure outdoors and feral cats, kill between 1.3 billion and 4.0 billion birds in a year, says Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C., who led the team that performed the analysis. Previous estimates of bird kills have varied, he says, but “500 million is a number that has been thrown around a lot.”

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.