The Loh Down On Science

Furry Menace

Instead of Hitchcock’s The Birds, maybe it should have been The Cats!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

And an update on the carnage caused by free-ranging cats. 

Loose cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds every year in the US. Yeah, that's billion. With a B. 

So says a new report from researchers at the Smithsonian Institute and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Most of those birds died at the claws of feral cats, which have no owners and run free.

A good count is hard to come by, but previous estimates put the annual bird slaughter at about a half-million. And the small-mammal slaughter? Try between 7 and 20 billion! Bye bye, squirrels and mice!

Birds that live among people live dangerously. They smash into windows. They get hit by cars. They get poisoned. But per the new study, cats now rank as the single-greatest bird menace ever brought by humans. Yikes.

Cats?  No Andrew Lloyd Webber musical!  Sounds more like Sweeney Clawed!

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC Pasadena, California. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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