Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Feathers and fur fly 鳥飛貓跳

AP

Piping Plovers at a beach in the Quonochontaug Conservation Area in Westerly, Rhode Island, USA, July 12, 2007. 七月十二日,笛(行鳥)在美國羅德島衛斯特理的Quonochontaug保護區沙灘活動。

PHOTO: AP

Cats are as much a part of Cape May, New Jersey, USA's genteel culture as rainbow-colored Victorian-style bed and breakfasts, trolley tours and cocktails on the porch at sunset.

They are also suspect No. 1 in many deaths of the endangered piping plover, a fist-sized, white-and-brown fuzzball of a bird that has closed beaches and stopped development projects in the interest of protecting their habitat.

With only 115 pairs of piping plovers left in the state, the federal government may intervene on the side of the birds, which has set both fur and feather flying here. Cat lovers fear the roaming felines will be euthanized, while bird lovers are wary of a rare species being wiped out.

"This is a very emotional issue; this really is a cat town," said resident Pat Peckham. "I think they should leave the cats where they are. I'm a firm believer in letting nature take its course."

The plovers, which breed on East Coast beaches during warm weather, build nests in sandy, open stretches of beach, making them and their chicks easy prey for a variety of predators, including foxes, gulls, raccoons and cats.

Annette Scherer, a senior biologist with the Fish & Wildlife Service, said the agency is studying the situation in Cape May.

Possible recommendations could include asking the city to adopt laws requiring cats to be licensed, prohibiting free-roaming cats and abandoning cats and feeding wildlife, including feral cats.

Cat lovers across the country are keeping watch so strays are not sent to shelters, where most are euthanized if they cannot find a home.

美國紐澤西州五月角的美式優雅文化,耀眼如彩虹般維多利亞式的民宿,電車旅遊和曰落長廊的雞尾酒,而貓也是其中重要部份之一。

貓也是當地瀕臨絕種笛行鳥死亡的頭號嫌犯。笛行鳥是白色和棕色羽毛,如拳頭大小的鳥。他們在沙灘或停工的建築裡築巢以保護其棲息。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Ray: Say, have you noticed all the birds lately?

Charles: Yeah. It's breeding season, so you see a lot of them.

Ray: They're getting kind of annoying. They are starting to wake me up in the morning.

Charles: You consider that annoying? I'd rather wake up to birds than traffic.

Ray: I don't know. Something about the sound just pushes my buttons.

瑞:嗨,你最近有沒有留意觀察鳥類?

查爾斯:有啊,現在是育幼期,你看到很多鳥了吧。

瑞:牠們實在有點吵,一大早就會把你吵醒了。

查爾斯:你認為那算吵啊,我寧可被鳥鳴叫醒,也不願被喧鬧車馬聲吵醒。

瑞:我不知道唉,可能是有些聲音正好跟我犯沖吧。

push one's buttons 冒犯

If you push someone's buttons, you annoy or aggravate someone in a way they particularly dislike. "John really pushes my buttons when he makes fun of my braces."

如果你push someone's buttons,你可能打擾或侵犯到他人特別不快之處。「當約翰嘲笑我的牙套時,他真的惹毛我了。」


紐澤西州現僅存一百一十五對笛行鳥,聯邦政府採取保護鳥的措施,限制其他的鳥獸進入其棲息區域。愛貓人士擔心遊蕩的貓會被安樂死,而愛鳥好人士則怕稀有的鳥類將會滅絕。

居民派特·佩克漢說:「這是一個高度情緒性的議題,這裡其實是一個貓城。我想他們應該讓貓留在原地。我是一個堅定的追求自然法則信仰者。」

溫暖的季節,笛行鳥棲息在東部海岸,在開放的沙灘上築巢,這使得牠們和鶵鳥易淪為掠食者如狐,海鷗,浣熊和貓的獵物。

魚和野生服務中心的資深生物學家安奈特雪爾表示,相關單位已著手調查五月角的情況。

可能的建議包括:促請該市立法以執照管制貓隻飼養,禁止餵養流浪貓,棄養貓和野外貓隻,包括野生貓。

全國的愛貓人士都關注流浪貓是否會因此被送入收容所。在收容所裡如果貓兒不能找到飼主,就可能被安樂死。

(美聯社/翻譯:林艾弟)

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