World famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough has warned that huge numbers of garden birds are being killed by cats, causing their populations to decline. Speaking to the Radio Times he stated that, in winter especially, survival becomes difficult for birds and other small wildlife, where food is scarce and shelter is limited.
“Cats kill a considerably high number of birds in British gardens” he said.
Attenborough suggests that cat owners should assume responsibility and buy bell collars for their animals to help warn birds and small animals, saying “that would be good for the robins, yes”.
Sir David shares his love of the garden robin on the Christmas edition of Radio 4′s Tweet of the Day and will feature the robin’s famous birdsong.
Cats have widely received blame for the deaths and even extinction of birds for decades. The Stephens Island Wren is said to have been driven to extinction by the introduction of just one cat to the island in the 19th century. Whilst this story is surrounded by legend, it is clear that cats, being natural and instinctive hunters as well as the UK’s most popular pet, have a lot to answer for when it comes to threatened wildlife in urban areas.
If you own a cat, help to reduce the threat it poses to local wildlife by following these tips.
Image sourced: Tonitagsbird populationscatsgreen petswildlife