WGLT-AM (Illinois State University radio; April 9) – Dr. Adam Stern was interviewed regarding white-nose syndrome outbreak in Illinois. He was the pathologist who identified the pathogen from samples collected in Illinois. [Note: He is introduced at 2:20.]
“In a report that scaled up local surveys and pilot studies to national dimensions, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that domestic cats in the United States — both the pet Fluffies that spend part of the day outdoors and the unnamed strays and ferals that never leave it — kill a median of 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion mammals a year, most of them native mammals like shrews, chipmunks and voles rather than introduced pests like the Norway rat.
The estimated kill rates are two to four times higher than mortality figures previously bandied about, and position the domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes.”
“There is a huge amount of information these animals learn. We are a poor, poor substitute,” she said.