The Australian government, authorities and experts bombard their citizens and the rest of the world with Armageddon-like stories of the decimation of their native wildlife by their hated feral cats. They have been doing this for decades.
Their so called experts say that 30 mammal species in Australia have become extinct in 200 years, the worst record of any country (they say) and that the loss of 20 of these species can be put down to the presence of cats (Professor Woinarski – Charles Darwin Uni).
Australia Wildlife Conservancy say there are 15 million feral cats. Others quote 18 or 20 million. They’re all guesswork.
No one has a clue really as to how many feral cats there are in Australia. There may only be 5-8 million. When the experts guess that each feral cat kills 5 animals a night making a grand total of 20 billion per year they are piling guesswork upon guesswork.
The point I am making is that it is obviously impossible to know the impact feral cats are having on native species if they don’t know the number of feral cats.
As far as I am aware no one has done an accurate study at any time. What seems to have happened is that supposition and guesswork has conveniently be transformed into fact over the years. So much for scientific rigour.
It is probably impossible to work out the number of feral cats and therefore impossible to work out their impact on native species.
Figures are bandied around willy-nilly without any reference to the impact the human-animal has upon native species.
You could even argue that if the feral cat has made extinct some native species it is not the fault of the cat but people who imported the domestic cat to the continent in the first place to, I presume, control rat populations. There are no wild cat species in Australia.
However which way you dice and slice the stats the problem of native species extinctions on the Australian continent is due to people and the sooner the authorities accept that and start to blame themselves the better because they can then ditch the idea of trying to do another impossible thing, namely exterminate the feral cat and start the long road to gradually diminishing the population humanely through government funded TNR.