Friday, November 14, 2014

Native Wildlife

I've been watching a 1990's Australian animals show called Australia Wild.  The episode I watched today was about cats wreaking havoc on the indigenous wildlife in the Dandenongs. They're reducing the population of lyrebirds.

The general idea of the episode is native wildlife=good. Imported wildlife=bad. The show featured scenes of foxes being poisoned and dead bodies of the foxes. This is supposed to be a good thing— as if the fox is some kind of villain that deserves to be destroyed.

I do understand the need and desire to preserve native wildlife populations. But come on. Who brought the foxes over to Australia in the first place? I seriously doubt the foxes swam over on their own.

Also, out of all the non-native animals, the one most dangerous to native Australian wildlife is the human. And not just because of the foxes, cats, dogs, and cane toads they brought over.  It's a bit hypocritical to paint imported animals as invasive villain pests that don't deserve compassion or life.

As for cats, I don't think its unreasonable to request that owners keep their cats indoors. I say this because we keep our beloved Max indoors.  I'm sure it's harder, though, to restrict a cat who already has freedom.

The Humane Society has an article about transitioning outdoor cats to indoor cats. They say it IS possible.

I like knowing that our cat isn't a danger to local wildlife. Though he does catch and eat a visiting gecko now and then. When I witness the action, I'm often torn between saving the poor reptile and letting Max indulge in his natural instincts.  


Andrew said...

We are indeed the highest threat to native wildlife and we would do well to remember this.

Dina said...