HomeCat NewsconservationOngoing grounding of cats in Walldorf for three months annually to protect endangered bird

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Ongoing grounding of cats in Walldorf for three months annually to protect endangered bird — 3 Comments

  1. They blame the cats for ALL birds disappearing instead of farming, poisons, buildings etc.

    Mike just read this on a petition.

    Some say olives taste better if they are harvested at night, that cooler temperatures enhance the flavor.

    However, nocturnal harvesting also results in millions of dead birds1.

    At least 2 million birds are killed each year by the olive industry’s harvesting practices2.

    In Portugal alone, an average of 6.4 birds are killed in every hectare of olive groves3.

    In Portugal and Spain, where many of the world’s olives come from, olive season spans from October to January. During the same period, migrating birds are passing through the two Mediterranean countries. Millions of birds make their homes in the olive trees during warm nights4.

    Birds are typically safe from the threat of harvesting during the day. It is easier for birds to escape harvesting tractors when they are awake. But the bright lights used by harvesters confuse the birds at night, causing them to get sucked into the vacuums and killed5.

    The same birds are then sold, illegally, to local hotels to be served as ‘pajarito frito,’ or fried bird6.

    Species such as warblers, thrushes, wagtails, finches, and robins are commonly killed by the millions. The ecological consequences of this slaughter could cause entire biomes to collapse7.

    Globally, migratory bird populations have plummeted in recent years and European farmland avian species specifically have been hit hard. In the past 30 years, their populations have fallen by 55%. Considering that over 1 million animal species are now in danger of disappearing from the Earth because of human practices, there is little time to delay in calling for stronger restrictions on industries and governments that contribute to this killing8.

    Sign the petition below and help us ask Portugal and Spain to ban night harvesting and the sale of dead bird “bycatch” to hotels as food, and further require olive growers who harvest at night to monitor and report the number of birds killed in their machines as other industries do.

    More on this issue:

    Jelisa Castrodale, Vice (20 May 2019), “Millions of Birds Are Vacuumed to Death Every Year for Our Martini Olives.”
    Luis P. da Silva & Vanessa A. Mata, Nature (07 May 2019), “Stop harvesting olives at night — it kills millions of songbirds.”
    Carla Tomás, Expresso (24 February 2019), “Como milhares de aves estão a morrer no Alentejo.”
    Olive Oil Times (2022), “What months are olives harvested?”
    Katie Dangerfield, Global News (21 May 2019), “Millions of songbirds ‘vacuumed’ to death every year during olive harvest season.”
    Bird-free Olives (2019), “The Problem.”
    Eben Diskin, Matador Network (22 May 2019), “Millions of Birds Are Vacuumed To Death During the Olive Harvest Each Year.
    Brian Resnick, Vox (7 May 2019), “A million species are at risk of extinction. Humans are to blame.”
    To Top
    The Petition:
    To the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development of Portugal, and the Minister of Agriculture of Spain,

    The mechanical harvesters that shaking loose olives into powerful vacuums for collection also ingest millions of important migratory birds, whose disappearance could soon cause a massive ecological collapse.

    Birds like redwings, warblers, thrushes, wagtails, finches, and robins become confused by the strong lights of the machines, and killed by the harvesting vacuums.

    In southern Spain, olive farmers sometimes sell the dead to local restaurants which offer them on menus illegally as fried birds. Not only is this illegal, it motivates the killing of species which are are already considered by conservationists to be in decline.

    Migratory bird populations have plummeted in recent years and European farmland avian species specifically have been hit hard. In the past 30 years, their populations have fallen by 55%.

    Considering that over 1 million animal species are now in danger of disappearing from the Earth because of human practices, there is little time to delay in enacting stronger restrictions on the olive oil industry.

    I ask that you ban night harvesting and the sale of dead bird “bycatch” to hotels as food, and further require olive growers who harvest at night to monitor and report the number of birds killed in their machines as other industries do.

      • Interesting article. I saved it so I can send it to the next scientist who publishes a article pointing a finger at bird killing cats!
        I’m so sick of cats being blamed for killing birds and that’s why so many have become endangered! It’s all b.s. I lost count how many dead birds I picked up that died during 3 polar vortexes last winter. They literally fell out of the trees frozen to death. Since I’m in southwestern Missouri and usually have mild winters birds stay here in the winter. I’m curious to see which birds decide to fly further south this winter.

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