Predators

January 29th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

No this isn’t a post on Graham Capill. It is back on the issue of . A reader e-mailed to say:

If had done anything sensible, like say putting “removing apex predators” in scholar.google.com, he would have found that it is well understood that removing a species such as cats (apex predator) from an ecosystem causes an explosion of smaller predators (meso predators).   In NZ that would be all the Mustelidae (Weasals, Stoats, Ferrets) and Rats.  It would also lead to an explosion in the numbers of mice who compete for food and possibly an increase in Hedgehogs (who also predate our birds).   Here’s an example of what he might have found http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01347.x/full   He could also have talked to some actual NZ ecologists, but hey.

Sci Blogs have had some good balanced posts on this also.

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24 Responses to “Predators”

  1. Sam (501 comments) says:

    Oh – you mean this bit (among others):
    Rayner et al. 2007 9 New Zealand Domestic cat Pacific rat Breeding success of Cooks Petrel with cats and rats was ∼3.5 times higher than with rats only.

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  2. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Since when has logic or truth stopped a Greenie ranting?

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  3. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    New Zealand’s ‘expert on everything’ has seemingly lost the plot-

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/i-do-not-hate-cats-says-gareth-morgan-rv-135065

    What a dickhead. See a Doctor and take some meds….

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  4. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    “Apex predator” – LOL :lol:

    Our big old tabby cat wasn’t even the top scavenger in his domain. And he was a big cat who used to beat up all the other cats.

    I still remember him watching forlornly, as a hedgehog discovered the pork rind we’d put out for him, and dragged it away backwards across the driveway into the bushes. In broad daylight.

    All he could muster was a feeble look that said “but – but – but – you can’t do that! Can you?”

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  5. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Sigh. Of course cats can prey on rats, but what many of you don’t seem to understand is the use of 1080 poison is far more effective in controlling mustelid and rodent numbers than are cats, with a much greater net environmental benefit.

    And ask yourself this: Which prey is more likely to escape a cat. A rat or a Blue Duckling? Fact is, rats have evolved to survive in sustainable numbers within an ecosystem containing cats. Blue Ducks haven’t.

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  6. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Oh and as far as the link [ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01347.x/full ] is concerned, none of the studies listed refer specifically to the dynamics of ecosystem containing both threatened New Zealand native species and the domestic cat, so it is largely irrelevant.

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  7. nasska (11,478 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Totally agree. Besides if the object of the exercise is reducing predators rather than turning cat food into cat shit then get a fox terrier. A good foxie can despatch rats faster than any fifty cats.

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  8. JC (955 comments) says:

    “Fact is, rats have evolved to survive in sustainable numbers within an ecosystem containing cats. Blue Ducks haven’t.”

    Bloody ducks.. wanting us to protect them. This is a capitalist economy and I say they need to take responsibility for their own safety and not rely on the tax payer.
    One thing you can say about the Duck in Parliament is he has “evolved to survive in sustainable numbers within an ecosystem containing Nats.”

    JC

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  9. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    Down with the global warming scamster (and capital tax advocate) Morgan!
    David Farrar’s targets are predictable.

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  10. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    Thumbs up for Gareth Morgan from the experts
    http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2013/01/23/cats-impact-on-native-wildlife-experts-respond/

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  11. hj (6,991 comments) says:

    “New Zealand’s ‘expert on everything’ has seemingly lost the plot-”

    Employed scientists in writing Poles Apart
    Consulted with people in the health system at all levels for Health Cheque
    Same for the Big Kahuna
    pppfffffffft!

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  12. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    Got a bit of a crush on Gareth have we hj?

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  13. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    As a hunter I have alwaays struggled with the anti 1080 lobby because i just dont see any viable alternative.

    Sure 1080 kills deer (and cattle) and lots of birdlife…but it kills rats and rats are THE thing that will screw NZ wildlife.
    Rats kill everything. Possums will kill all the trees slowly tho.

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  14. pq (728 comments) says:

    yes, please see what barking mad Gareth had in store for you taxes,
    my God we can thank he is not the Emperor, and we can be pleased to have Farrrar,
    Farrar is a vc champion of freedom I think soon I see another medallion of Quixote. He already has two medals he opens the door to discussion and freedom. http://garethmorgantax.blogspot.co.nz/

    the price of freedom is eternal vigilance friends

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  15. pq (728 comments) says:

    there is another thing about Morgn friends, he censors comments on his web site .
    Farrar the walking genius warns us first if we are out of line or abusive
    the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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  16. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    On his site, I asked for proof that domestic cats were the primary cause of native bird deaths.

    My first post went “missing”.

    I rephrased my question, and was told that someone saw some data once, but can’t show it to me.

    What a joke.

    Even our cat thinks so.

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  17. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    Scott Chris – whats the point of tired old strawman arguments? – are you suggesting that 1080 drops be executed over urban areas? As thats where 99% of cats are found.

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  18. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    I used to have a couple of Pitbulls. They kept my patch cat free.

    Seriously though stupid animal lovers get blind spots were their favourite pet is concerned. The bush is full of feral cats doing what they do best because dumb cat owners refuse to have their animals neutered and the unwanted end up in the scrub.

    Morgan is a dickhead. If he had attacked the problem from a sensible angle and used his considerable cash and clout to suggest a practical solution to the cat problem he may have achieved something useful.

    Now he has just painted himself into the nutters corner opposite Bob Kerridge. :)

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  19. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Owned a number of cats in suburban areas of North Shore for decades. They kill predominantly rats and mice. They do kill skinks and wetas in much lesser volumes and the occasional tui but tuis appear to be able to care for themselves having watched tuis attack cats and injure other birds. (Tuis are impressively aggressive in my experience) Most common birds caught appear to be non native i.e. blackbirds.

    The skinks and wetas are the main concern. I’m not naive enough to think they don’t kill natives but not stupid enough to think that their main prey in suburban areas are not suburban rodent predators.

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  20. paul henry (49 comments) says:

    Morgan is on the Michael Laws trajectory, he says stupid offensive things, pisses people off, people hate him, he can’t understand why so he attacks them, and they hate him even more.

    Pretty soon he won’t won’t to show his mustelid face outside the walls of his mansion.

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  21. pq (728 comments) says:

    people need to be aware that Gareth Morgan censors all incoming mail

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  22. Scott1 (549 comments) says:

    It is generally accepted that Biodiversity and increased native wildlife is a good thing. But maybe it is time to stop and reconsider exactly how we should value it. What exactly is the additional value added here when weighed against the additional value of adding cats?

    First clearly if cats have not wiped out the native birds yet – they are unlikely to do so at least not in most areas. So this rules out all those advantages of biodiversity related to medical advancement and resilience of the biosphere (if they ever had any validity at all).

    In the end the only defendable aspects you are left with are birds having a cultural and aesthetic and tourist related benefit.

    The quesition then is now many tourists come to NZ to see our birds?
    and
    how does the enjoyment people get from birds compare to that that they get from cats?

    I think the cat lovers of NZ spend more per day on cat biscuits than marginal bird tourism would make in a year, and I can’t see how a very small number of bird watchers interests should outweigh the interests of a very large number of people who want to keep a cat.

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  23. Left Right and Centre (2,975 comments) says:

    aha…

    I think the key to all this is the word *feral*, is it not?

    We’re worried about feral cats, not domestic pets, surely?

    And even then…. you’d want to know what effect feral cats are having on native wildlife…. and everything else. I’ve got no problem with wiping out feral cats if need be.

    Morgan’s suggestion to keep cats inside 100% of the time is laughable. Morgan is an intelligent man. Why on earth is he saying that? That’s just not going to happen.

    Oh dear… a few domestic cats live next to areas with native life. So…. everyone should get rid of their cat regardless of what they get up to or live near. Good logic there.

    Do you know what fucked up the native life in NZ? Humans… in particular white-skinned niggers who came along and felled every bit of fucking forest and generally fucked everything up with their introduced pests. They were an introduced pest… self-invited turds…. Morgan should be requesting we don’t replace ourselves from reproductive age onwards.

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  24. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    If Gareth Morgan loves birds so much then why is he destroying the Phoenix?

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