Monday, March 07, 2005

Should Wisconsin Allow Feral Cat Season?

Should Wisconsin Allow Feral Cat Season?

Updated: 4:41 PM Mar 7, 2005

by ... Zac Schultz

Dane County: What is the best way to deal with the feral cat problem in Wisconsin? That's a question being asked of animal lovers, wildlife ecologists, and now hunters.

The Conservation Congress is considering a proposal to hunt wild cats.

A group called Friends of Ferals is working with the Dane County Humane Society to take care of them until they have a new home. 'Last year we got six hundred out of the wild brought them in here, spay/neutered them and released them back into the wild,' says The Humane Society's Tracy Earll.

The captured cats are just the tip of the feral iceberg. UW Wildlife Ecology Professor Stanley Temple says his 1995 study conservatively estimates there are 1.4 million feral cats in Wisconsin. And those cats kill and eat a lot of other animals.
'So 1.4 million cats times 28 kills a year and 20% of those kills being birds adds up to at least, and I'll emphasize at least 7.8 million birds that are killed by free ranging cats a year. That's an alarming number,' says Temple."


Look - I like cats as well as the next person. Kittens are one of the cutest little animals going ... but a cat is a cold-blooded, calculating killer; an incredibly effecient predator. To knowing unleash hundreds of such predators on the natural world is not only STUPID .. it is unconscionable!!!

There is absolutely no sense whatsoever in turning cats loose - on the wild - that are only here because of abused and over-populated domiciled felines, turned loose, due to human neglagence. So, those who are 'soft' on the cats, make a decision to waste the birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians and insects of the natural ecosystem - just to keep alive cats who are NOT a part of that ecosystem: and never were ?

Now that these - 'Friends of the Ferals' - have taken upon themselves to unleash this menace upon the Wisconsin ecosystem, someone else has to come in and clean up the mess. The whole thing could have been totally avoided by destroying the feral cats when caught the first time around. But of course that makes way too much sense .. right? And of course it's not a 'politically correct' action in these days when far too many humans operate on 'human emotion' when making decisions that are purely biologically oriented. These two ideologies are NOT inclusive and never will. Human emotion is NOT related to the life and death struggle of the natural world of animals. When it is brought into the mix - mistakes become the prolific norm.

This action is a clear example of someone having NO IDEA of what Outdoor Heritage is about. Ignorance - regardless of where it comes from - is destructive.

Let's get it straight. The RESOURCE ... that is the NATURAL RESOURCE ... is what needs to be protected, conserved and as need be - restored. The RESOURCE for any given ecosystem is determined by the native plants, animals and other biota that existed there, BEFORE man came into its scene. This includes our importations of plants and animals from outside the ecosystem.

So, no matter how 'cute', 'cuddly' or 'deserving' we may think a creature is - if it is NOT part of the ORIGINAL building block of the ecosystem in question ... GET RID OF IT. AVOIT IT. KILL IT. DO NOT put it - or ALLOW IT - into the ecosystem. It DOES NOT BELONG and will do more damage to the ecosystem than any good we 'emotionally driven humans' might imagine.

It is imperative that we understand, humans are NOT the 'creators' of the ecosystems or environment. We are only co-habitants along with the rest of the resource. We do have the ability to be either 'caretaker' or 'undertaker'. One does NOT mutually condone the other; they are mutually exclusive! Our staying out of the way of nature, does NOT afford the luxery of 'insertions'; even those many of us have come to love, appreciate and depend upon for our outdoor enjoyment. The Bottom Line on ecosystem longevity and sustainability is simple, "... if it [a life form] is NOT a part [of an ecosystem] by natural development, it does not belong and should not be infused and should be restrained at all costs."

One of the most important parts of understanding the meaning of Outdoor Heritage, is the understanding and appreciation for the ability of the natural system to keep and maintain it's on integrity... without man's intervention. We humans will do much more good if we Stop-Look-and Listen ... something we used to be taught for our own saftey and protection - as children crossing roadways ... to what nature is doing in its normal patterns. The moment we begin forging nature into what satisfies our wants - nature begins to be altered - unnaturally. And the results have shown themselves to be disasterous for all -- to nature and mankind.


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