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Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

Peter P. Marra Chris Santella



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Princeton University Pres
15 September 2016
Mathematics & Sciences; Wildlife: birds & birdwatching; Cats as pets
In 1894, a lighthouse keeper named David Lyall arrived on Stephens Island off New Zealand with a cat named Tibbles. In just over a year, the Stephens Island Wren, a rare bird endemic to the island, was rendered extinct. Mounting scientific evidence confirms what many conservationists have suspected for some time'that in the United States alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions. As alarming are the little known but potentially devastating public health consequences of rabies and parasitic Toxoplasma passing from cats to humans at rising rates.
Cat Wars tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world, and sheds new light on the controversies surrounding the management of the explosion of these cats. This compelling book traces the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling, and feline diseases.
It charts the developments that have led to our present impasse' from Stan Temple's breakthrough studies on cat predation in Wisconsin to cat-eradication programs underway in Australia today. It describes how a small but vocal minority of cat advocates has campaigned successfully for no action in much the same way that special interest groups have stymied attempts to curtail smoking and climate change. Cat Wars paints a revealing picture of a complex global problem' and proposes solutions that foresee a time when wildlife and humans are no longer vulnerable to the impacts of free-ranging cats.
By:   Peter P. Marra, Chris Santella
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   539g
ISBN:   9780691167411
ISBN 10:   0691167419
Pages:   216
Publication Date:   15 September 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Peter P. Marra has written more than 175 scientific publications, is the coeditor of Birds of Two Worlds, and directs the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Chris Santella is the author of many books, including the Fifty Places travel and outdoor series and The Tug Is the Drug. His writing has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and Trout.

Reviews for Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

We know that nature's theater bristles with industrious carnivores and omnivores--hawks that pluck cardinals right off a bird feeder, squirrels that grab eggs from crows' nests, and crows that grab babies from squirrels' nests. What makes free-ranging cats such an exceptionally dangerous threat to birds and other wildlife? The book describes a number of factors. --Natalie Angier, New York Review of Books Marra and Santella thoughtfully examine the severe ecological damage caused by feral cats and outdoor pet cats. Highly readable... Cat lovers are presented in a sympathetic light throughout, making the book worth reading no matter a reader's position on free-ranging cats. --Publishers Weekly

  • Short-listed for's 10 Best Conservation and Environment Books of 2016 2016

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