Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Extinct cats

The girl who wrote to me the other day about sterilisation being too successful said that she was sure the town council had not trapped the cats because she could not imagine anyone complaining. Let me assure you, I hear this all the time - people cannot imagine their neighbours complaining, because usually THEY don't see a problem, but often their neighbours do.

Some neighbours will also claim that everything is fine, but complain when you're not looking.

This girl said that as no new kittens were being born, she was quite sure they were going to go extinct as she did not see as many cats now as ten years ago when they were all over her estate. There is not a country in the world where the cats went 'extinct' - the only place that managed their population is Jersey, a tiny island, many times smaller than Singapore. And of course they just stopped sterilising once the population was managed. It's not irreversible. If we ever went the way of Jersey, which I highly, highly doubt - the place is unique due to size and geography - we could always take some cats from somewhere else which is what Jersey is doing now.

On the other hand, death is irreversible for all those cats killed because of complaints of overpopulation. Why would we stop sterilising NOW because eventually there might not be cats and allow 35 cats a day to keep dying? The chances of having no more cats in Singapore due to sterilisation are so remote, I'm more likely to win $30M in a lottery first.


Blogger vegancat said...

How I wish what the girl wants to believe is true but I have to go along with Dawn that we are far far away from achieving any results from TnRM yet.
We have to keep on doing as much as we individually can and to push for governmental support of extensiven TnR to reach anyway near the Jersey island success.

21/12/05 12:12 PM  
Blogger budak said...

in Singapore, the animals in real danger of extinction include:
• the banded leaf monkey (only a handful left in the reserves and dwindling), a subspecies found only in Singapore
• the cream-coloured giant squirrel (only two recorded last)
• lesser mousedeer
• leopard cat
• countless other birds, reptiles, mammals, fishes, invertebrates and plants in the remaining virgin green areas (parks don't count).

21/12/05 1:14 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks Mrs Budak. That was really informative. I didn't even know we still had leopard cats in Singapore.

21/12/05 1:35 PM  
Blogger budak said...

So far, the existence of the leopard cat (a completely different species from Felis catus and no house pet) comes mainly from roadkills along Mandai.

I am really quite surprised to see many people here, even youth, incredibly ignorant about ecology, biodiversity and animal behaviour/biology. Don't these subjects get taught in secondary schools? What kind of life science hub is this??

21/12/05 5:44 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I don't think they teach anything like this in school - and the way most Singaporeans live, we're so isolated from any wildlife. Come to think of it, even cats which are everywhere are treated as 'dirty' so it's no wonder.

21/12/05 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Aminah Bee said...

In Guernsey Island, United Kingdom, cats sterilisation project is so successful that locals need to ship more cats in to boost the feline population.

This info from CBBC Newsround:

Cats sent in to boost pet numbers

19 August 2004

A scheme to cut cat numbers on the island of Guernsey has been so successful that locals need to ship more in to boost the feline population.

Guernsey Island, United Kingdom -

There used to be a big problem with strays there, so owners were encouraged to stop their pusses having kittens

But now there are so few cats around that animal shelters are being overwhelmed with requests for kitties.

The first 21 cats are being brought in by ferry from a mainland animal rescue centre, with 60 more to come.

The Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says owners should still take care.

They're encouraging people to let cats have just one litter before stopping them having any more kittens.

22/12/05 7:56 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Aminah that's the place I was referring to - Guernsey is just off Jersey. Guernsey is however tiny. The population is something like 16000+ and it's a tiny little place. Even Singapore is much larger.

23/12/05 12:59 AM  

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