Non-native predator is threat to other species

October 12, 2013 

There has been a war waged on non-native species in the last few years. All of these species threaten native species in their environment every day. People are paid to hunt and eradicate the non-native species that were introduced into an area it was not intended to be. These non-native species can cause an upset of balance to the whole ecosystem, bringing extinction to many plants and animals that are necessary and a benefit to the area.

There is one non-native animal that has caused 113 species to become extinct. This predator originates from Africa and came to America through Europe. It adapts well to all regions; their nature is to stalk, climb, spring, catch and kill.

It can also spreads worms, fleas, ticks, rabies, and many types of other diseases. Its saliva and claws are toxic, causing paralysis and death to what it catches.

Be careful when handling this animal as it licks itself, and humans are affected as well when coming in contact with its saliva.

Migrating birds are caught and killed by this predator, many being young birds born during the spring and summer before. They were just starting out life. Most people do not care that this predator lurks and hunts in their yard and community.

Have you figured out who this predator is? It's the house cat.

Everyone can do their part by spaying and neutering their pets. Trap and remove feral and free-ranging cats. Don't dump these animals out to fend for themselves; you will be dumping your problem animal off onto others.

Get the message out. Get everyone involved in finding a solution to this problem. Cats are not the right pet for everyone. If they cannot be kept indoors 24/7, choose another type of pet.

Alison Newcomb

Bradenton

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