TODAY’S MODERATOR: Cats vs. birds: who wins?

A piece at Smithsonian.com asks: are cats endangering migratory bird populations?

Not all cats, of course — just outdoor felines, who eat lots and lots of birds. The article focused on Peter Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and author of the recent book “Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer,” in which he argues for the elimination of feral and outdoor cats.

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“In his day job, he and his team at the migratory bird center track the global movements of birds and tease apart threats to their existence. He knows that birds … are the glue that binds healthy ecosystems together. ‘Birds are critical,’ he says. And outdoor cats, he and other ecologists have determined, are the leading human-influenced cause of dead birds.”

A concerted effort to do something about it would of course be controversial. “That effort will require an ugly reality: the targeted killing of felines,” the story notes. “’No one likes the idea of killing cats,’ Marra concludes in his book. ‘But sometimes, it is necessary.’”

What do you think? Email rrollins@coxohio.com.

Read the original essay here.

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