Are cats an alien invasive species?
A brief opinion to the current news
Recent news published on several media channels caught my attention. Not because of the term itself but the emphasis on the public reaction.
Once upon a time, the media had the last paragraph with a brief clarification of a complex or unknown subject. However, in a time of scrolling down, likes, shares, and canceling the culture of what we don’t like or understand, those paragraphs became irrelevant. It justifies why most of the media is decreasing its credibility and professionalism. I suppose that is also because people are not reading and thinking as much as before.
The biologist, Wojciech Solarz from the Polish Academy of Sciences, called cats, Felis catus, an “alien invasive species” due to their impact on wildlife, especially birds. You can read one of the news here.
The only topic I could make some objections to Solarz’s statement would be keeping the cats indoors every time in the bird season.
The alien invasive species term is widely documented in biology, ethology, and ecology. The Convention on Biological Diversity defines it as “Invasive alien species are plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health. In particular, they adversely impact biodiversity, including the decline or elimination of native species - through competition, predation, or transmission of pathogens - and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions. Invasive alien species, introduced and/or spread outside their natural habitats, have affected native biodiversity in almost every ecosystem type on earth and are one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. “. The term “Introduced Species” is also used when there is a direct human intervention.
This subject is not new. A group of scientists already had warned about invasive alien species, including cats and rats. Other papers also referred to cats as invasive species, which I highlight only a few:
I cannot understand why this sudden flooding of news and offended people with the term. Perhaps the media needs to back to their informative role with some research done in the background.
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