[WisCats] Anti-TNR Blog
Dear WisCats Members,
I hope you all had a great holiday season and are gearing up for a wonderful new year!
In response to the “Anti-TNR Blog” discussion on this forum, I want to thank you all on behalf of Alley Cat Allies for keeping an eye on the anti-TNR articles and information that have been going around.
For those of you who may not have seen, Elizabeth Parowski, Alley Cat Allies’ Communications Manager, commented on Ted Williams’ blog with our official response. Elizabeth also submitted a similar response as a letter to the editor after Williams’ article ran in the September 2009 issue of Audobon magazine. The information in Elizabeth’s comment post is correct and accurate. Alley Cat Allies’ encourages all of the WisCats members to become well-versed in this topic and learn the facts for themselves.
You may read her response below. Thank you for your interest in this issue and for all you do for cats!
Alley Cat Allies
“Mr. Williams’ favor for bird advocates is certainly not surprising, but his disregard for the facts borders on journalistic irresponsibility.
Here are the facts: the so-called “University of Wisconsin Study” by Dr. Stanley Temple, from which many bird advocates derive their wildly distorted figures, is actually a series of papers based on the selectively released results of an unpublished study in which Temple and co-author John Coleman attempted to project the potential impact of free-roaming cats on the bird population in the state of Wisconsin.
Although the first paper – which only estimated the number of free-roaming cats in the state, and did not address bird kills – was subject to peer-review and published in a scientific journal, the bulk of the research, in which Temple and Coleman attempt to extrapolate the number of birds killed by cats, has never been subject to peer review. It has never been published in serious scientific journals that require peer review. The authors have themselves identified their figures as a guess, based on extreme, “high value” estimates.
Had Mr. Williams actually researched whether the data had been peer-reviewed rather than dismissing my statement out of hand, he might have uncovered some additional truths: There are numerous studies concluding that the leading cause of bird species loss – indeed, of all species loss – is habitat destruction caused by human activity; and the vacuum effect, in which the removal of one species creates opportunity for another to take its place, often with disastrous effects, is highly documented and quite real.
In short, Mr. Williams’ central argument is disingenuous. Framing this issue as cats vs. birds ignores the true threat to birds, and at a great cost.
For more information visit www.alleycat.org.”