Tue, Feb 19, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Friendly felines are really natural born killers, US study finds
美研究發現 友善的貓科動物其實是天生殺手

A judge inspects a White Persian cat during the World Cat Show in Zagreb, Croatia on Oct. 28 last year.
一位評審去年十月二十八日在克羅埃西亞薩格勒布舉辨的世界貓展,審查一隻白色波斯貓。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

Think of cats as cute purring bundles of fur? Think again. A new study says free-roaming kitties are serious killers.

Such cats are a leading cause of deaths of birds and small mammals in the US, with pet and ownerless cats blamed for killing up to 3.7 billion birds and as many as 20.7 billion other animals each year, government scientists said in a study released on Jan. 29.

Ownerless cats, including barn cats, strays and feral colonies, are behind the vast majority of bird and mammal deaths, according to the study, “The impact of free-ranging cats on wildlife in the US,” published on Jan. 29 in the online journal Nature Communications.

The findings by researchers with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the US Fish and Wildlife Service show that the bulk of birds killed by cats in the US — excluding Alaska and Hawaii — were native species.

Cats largely prey on non-native mice and rats in densely populated urban areas where native wildlife is scarce, the research shows.

By contrast, cats in suburban and rural areas kill mostly native mice, shrews, voles, squirrels and rabbits.

Domestic cats are considered among the 100 worst non-native invasive species in the world, yet control of the creatures has not been widely addressed by local, state and federal governments, the study shows.

(Reuters)

你以為貓是可愛又會呼嚕呼嚕叫的小毛球嗎?再想一想吧。一項新研究發現,自由遊走的小貓咪其實是恐怖的殺手。

政府科學家在一月二十九日公佈的研究中指出,貓是美國鳥類與小型哺乳類動物的主要死因,家貓與無人飼養的貓一年殺害三十七億隻鳥,以及多達兩百零七億隻其他動物。

根據這份一月二十九日發表於線上期刊《自然通訊》題為「自由放養的貓對美國野生動物的影響」的報告,絕大多數鳥類和哺乳動物死亡都與無人飼養的貓有關,包含農倉的貓、流浪貓、野貓等。

史密森保育生物學研究所和美國魚類暨野生動物管理局研究人員發現,除阿拉斯加州和夏威夷外,美國貓獵殺的大量鳥類多是原生種。

研究顯示,在人口稠密的都市區,原生野生動物稀少,貓多半獵食非原生的大小老鼠。

相較之下,郊區和鄉下的貓大部分捕食原生的小老鼠、鼩鼱、田鼠、松鼠和野兔。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. free-ranging adj. phr.

自由放養的 (zi4 you2 fang4 yang3 de5)

例: Free-ranging pets can cause many problems.

(自由放養的寵物可能造成許多問題。)

2. prey v.

捕食 (bu3 shi2)

例: Lions prey on antelopes and other wild animals.

(獅子捕食羚羊與其他野生動物。)

3. address v.

處理;對付 (chu2 li3; dui4 fu4)

例: We need to address the issue immediately.

(我們必須立刻處理這個問題。)


研究顯示,家貓是世界前百大最具侵略性外來物種之一,但地方、州和聯邦政府尚未著手控制這種生物。

(路透/翻譯:陳維真)

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