The cat is being questioned more and more. Biologists, veterinarians, naturalists, and ecologists have long condemned what causes it. devastating damage to biodiversitythis is already contributed to the extinction of several dozen species and that jeopardizes the survival of others.
If an “exotic species” was declared in Poland a few weeks ago, now the Artemisan Foundation has announced the results of a study. study analyzing the resultsAbundant presence of cats in areas of great ecological valueConsidering it means “risk of predation and disease transmissionmainly due to irresponsible ownership”.
“The existence of domestic cats (felis silvestris kitty) in the wild has historically been a concern for wildlife managers worldwide. because they have scientific evidence of the negative effects of wild cats on native faunaHe points to Artemisan.
Research carried out in Ciudad Real in 2021,Domestic cats in the wild are a problem with ‘serious consequences’both the abundance of the species they hunt and the ability to transmit diseases to humans and other animalsone comes to assume threat to wild felines symbolically in our country. wild cat (felis silvestris) and Iberian lynx (lynx pardinus).
In seven study areas of approximately 500 to 600 hectares, cross-sections and censuses using camera traps determined an average density of 1.5 cats per 100 hectares, with in some places exceeding 4 cats per 100 hectares.
detected in these areas 31 potential prey species among birds and mammals, including protected and endangered birds. In addition, the presence of domestic cat, wild cat and Iberian lynx was confirmed in two places.
Attacks on endangered birds
All this confirmed that cats are present and abundant in areas of great ecological value. “Moreover, Serious cases of cats roaming freely in wetland and steppe areas where endangered birds are found have been identified. and as a result, rescue plans are made with economic and humanitarian efforts,” underlines the Artemisan Foundation.
During the development of the study, 15 cats were captured to analyze the prevalence of the diseases.
The results showed that 78% of the captured samples were positive for feline calcivirus, 50% for feline herpesvirus-1 and 36% for feline parvovirus. cats are carriers of diseases transmitted to wild felines.
“given wildcat and Iberian lynx shown to coexist in areas, domestic cats pose a threat to its conservationArtemisan finishes.
By DNA analysis to determine diet, at least one cat was found to eat hares and red-legged partridge, so given that most of the study areas are prey reserves, it was also shown. cats pose a threat to small game species.
In addition, GPS tracking collars were placed on five cats to monitor their movements during the summer and part of the autumn, resulting in an average of 2 kilometers per day (although they could reach 5 kilometers on some days), their territory is highly variable: from just a few hectares of wetland for cats in agricultural settings. more than 150 hectares for a cat caught in the area.
Eliminate cat colonies
In most of the sites studied, the presence of cats in the natural environment is described as follows: irresponsible ownership or by the presence Cat colonies that “pose a serious risk to wildlife and should be eliminated based on the consequences”Emphasizes foundation.
This is “seriously” Preliminary draft of the Animal Rights Act Recently approved by the Council of Ministers, “a overprotection of cat colonies Which scientists, experts and associations, including environmentalists, are already protesting” and something the Foundation has condemned for years.
Artemisan invited the administrations reflect With regard to the administration carried out, it “aims to chronicle and aggravate an obvious problem that more and more voices warn every day”.
For this reason, the Foundationselective and effective means of control in the natural environment and running awareness campaigns to avoid the source of an irresponsible ownership problem, of which the pet cat is also a victim”.
The work has been supported in actions that have resonated on the conservation status of biodiversity, as part of assistance to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity, with funds from the Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (FEADER). Natura 2000 Network.
The Artemisan Foundation is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the management and conservation of fauna and flora species through research, communication and legal advocacy, with special emphasis on the sustainable use of game species for the benefit of ecosystems and game animals. rural world.