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.