Australian Ornithologist Misleads Online News Media On Cat Predation
Australian Ornithologist, Prof John Woinarski, is scamming the world’s media with his biased study about cat predation in Australia. It is all over the online new media. Almost every major online newspaper has an article based on Woinarski’s ‘study’. Here is one example: Cats kill 1 million Australian birds a day, study shows (the Guardian). The news media have been conned.
Words such as ‘staggering’ and ‘threatening the decline of bird species’ are all over the internet. You’d think it was bird Armageddon in Australia.
BUT…the big but, the lead researcher of this latest study about cat predation on native species in Australia is an “Australian Ornithologist”. He’s a bird lover and all scientists who are bird lovers hate cats because they think cats are killing too many birds. They want to force governments, local or federal, to create legislation which allows mass extermination of feral cats. This is their hidden (not so hidden) agenda: kill cats and lots of them. And force cat owners to keep their cats inside at all times.
When I skimmed these news stories (they don’t deserve anything more) I immediately thought ‘ornithologist’. I did a Google search for ‘Prof John Woinarski’ and right at the top of page one was this:
“John Casimir Zichy Woinarski is an Australian ornithologist. He was awarded the 2001 Eureka Prize for Biodiversity Research. In the same year he was the recipient of the…”
His study was published in the journal ‘Biological Conversation‘.
Important further facts about this study:
- The study combined data from previous studies. All previous studies about cat predation on birds in Australia are biased, I would argue, and the conclusions are estimates. Estimates are notoriously imprecise especially when there is an inherent bias in the background. Estimates are based on small samples and figures extrapolated.
- The professors study is….wait for it…an estimate.
The study says that cats kill about 4% of Australia’s bird population annually. I won’t go on about the study’s conclusion because this article is about the veracity of the study and critically the person behind it: an ornithologist.
Ornithologists should not be involved in studies about cat predation. It undermines the integrity of science and scientists. Don’t believe this study. Or at least be critical of it and try and find the truth. This has happened before by the way. I’d bet the professor was asked to do this study by someone in government to keep the pressure up on killing feral cats in Australia.