This is a comment from Pippa Mealings who lives in Australia. It is a very fair-minded and sensible comment based on fact not supposition which all of the misguided estimates by the authorities are when they describe how domestic and feral cats decimate native wildlife in Australia.
“In mentioning Australia, the following fact should be noted. In the 1950’s in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs where there were many market gardens, it was decided by the then powers that be (were) to bring in a number of Indian Mynah birds to control the garden pests which were spoiling the crops. Unfortunately, the Indian Mynah bird is a very aggressive bird, particularly towards other birds.
Not only does it kill adult birds, but it destroys their eggs and takes over the nests. In many areas where there are plenty of Mynah birds, our lovely small and some not so small but slow moving and gentle native birds are virtually non-existent now. The Mynahs have spread from Victoria and are now all along the East Coast and moving across Australia very rapidly. It is these birds, not cats, which have done the most damage to our native birds.
I don’t believe cats are the main problem with the bird life. Cats were here long before the Indian Mynah birds and we had plenty of the native birdlife as well. As an Australian myself, I would say quite categorically that Australia does appear to have a fair number of cat haters.
And I still totally disagree with the stance on so called feral cats, and creating a genetically engineered disease which I doubt will have the ability to distinguish between the homeless cats which are a man made “problem” and our much loved companion animals.”
I felt I had to look up information about this official but misguided, deliberate introduction of the Indian Mynah bird into Australia. The information comes from a good source: The Australian National University.
The Common Indian Mynah is ranked in the top 100 worst invasive species by the IUCN.
The Common India Mynah was brought to Melbourne, Australia in 1862. They were unsuccessful in controlling insect pets. Despite this failure they were also introduced into other areas of Australia including North Queensland.
The damage this invasive species in Australia causes is as follows:
- damage fruit and grain crops
- spread mites
- spread disease to animals and people
- hassle people
- attack people
- competes aggressively with native wildlife for nesting hollows. They reduce biodiversity by fighting for these hollows with native Australian birds such as Rosellas. They destroy their eggs and chicks.
- Evicting large birds such as Kookaburras and Dollar Birds from their nests.
- Evict small mammals such as Sugar Gliders from hollows.
- Mob birds and mammals such as possums.
- Invade precious and scarse woodland habitat threatening native wildlife and causing a problem for biodiversity conservation.
As expected, this is another example of misguided human behaviour having a negative impact on Australian wildlife when at the same time the officials working in Australian government agencies are blaming the domestic and feral cat and have plans to exterminate all feral cats from the continent with a poison pellet. The hypocrisy beggars belief.