It does not matter if you are a puma in Florida, a Geoffory’s cat in La Pampa province, Argentina or a domestic cat in London, England; cars kill them all the time. Perhaps traffic is the best example of how human population growth and consequential growth in human activity bears down on the cat, wild and domestic. Roads divide cat habitats and cars run down the cats when they cross these man-made, artificial boundaries.
Even in my life I can think of four examples of cats that I have known that have been killed on the roads. I was directly connected to two of these cats. One was particularly dear to me.
We need to remind ourselves that small wild cat species have the same problem as domestic cats. It happens all over the world.
An example, just one example, is the small wild cat called the Geoffroy’s cat. This is a spotted cat – a tabby cat – living in South America.
The plain south of La Pampa province in Argentina is crossed by a highway: National Route 152 travelling from the NE to the SW. The route does not have that much traffic but a lot of Geofroy’s cats are victims of road accidents, so says Juan Pereira in the Feline Conservation Federation magazine.
Between cities and towns are roads. This is normal and these roads kill cats. The number of vehicles in the United States has increased on average by 3.69 million each year since 1960. There are now well over 254,212,610 passenger vehicles (registered) in the US. Worldwide there are more than 1 billion vehicles. In the UK the total number of cars in ownership, scrapped and on sale is over 31 million with a yearly increase of 3%.
The world is becoming more and more hostile for the cat from cars alone. This is excluding all other forms of human activity that kills cats. The very fact that there are more people is sufficient to result in increased cat kills on all fronts.
Automobile collisions and habitat loss combined with fights over dwindling territory are the main causes of Florida panther mortality. It is all human orientated and the car plays a major role.
Nothing is going to change. There will be an ever increasing death toll of cats by predictable automobile accidents.
Note: My apologies to Marc because I know how sore the subject is but the Geoffroy’s cat connection caught my eye.