Humans killed more animals in Australia than all the cats combined in 2019

I’m going to put the massive Australian bushfires of 2019 down to global warming. I don’t think they would have happened but for global warming. Global warming is caused by human activity. Australia exports large amount of coal to China. This is a direct cause of global warming and its managed by the Australian government. If you take those two points as a given then the 3 billion animals killed in Australian fires in 2019 is far more than the total number of animals killed by all cats in Australia. I’m referring to all outside domestic cats and all the feral cats. Clearly these are estimates because the Australian authorities do not know with any real accuracy the number of feral cats in Australia.

Australian bushfires New South Wales
Australian bushfires New South Wales. Photo in public domain.

However, they estimate that 2 billion native animals are killed by feral and freeroaming domestic cats annually. They say that the feral cat population has been variously estimated at 2 million to more than 6 million. They also say that every feral cat kills about 740 native animals annually. To this you have to add four million domestic cats preying on animals, which accounts for about 75 animals per year.

The 3 billion estimate for the animals killed by the bushfires is said to be a conservative number. Prof Dickman, a professor in ecology at the University of Sydney said that they are lower estimates and that we will never know exactly what the number might be.

It is reported that almost 3 billion koalas, kangaroos, reptiles, birds and other animals were killed or displaced in the massive bushfires that swept through Australia from September to March in 2019. The figure is three times more than the previous estimate. It is believed that many species have been driven to the edge of extinction in the wild. The fires burnt in area more than 80% the size of England. Six thousand buildings were destroyed and at least 34 people were killed.

The researchers were shocked by the numbers. Let’s remind ourselves that 1 billion is 1000 million. Many of species killed were small such as skinks. They live in high densities of more than 1,500 individuals per hectare.

Dermot O’Gorman, the chief executive of the Worldwide Fund for Nature said that extreme fires will be more common with climate change. The report would “give other countries a window into the future of mega-fires and their devastating impact on wildlife”. He said that it ranks as the worst wildlife disaster in modern history. Former fire chiefs have said that Australia is fighting a climate war. I assume that this is a reference to global warming. It appears that temperatures are going up in Australia.

The point I’m making is that there is a heavy focus on eradicating feral cats in Australia and confining domestic cats to their homes. The authorities want to stop cats preying on native animal species. However, they need to look at human activity as a priority because I argue that the impact on native wild species in Australia through human activity is greater than the impact of feral and domestic cats. I also argue that this situation will continue for the indefinite future.

The export of coal from Australia to China is a very big business and it is growing. My research indicates that exports of coal from the Port of Gladstone jumped in April 2019 to a three-month high. Coal exports are a major part of the Australian economy but they are under threat from China which is retaliating to Australia’s disapproval of China’s behaviour with respect to Hong Kong and hacking as I understand it. If Australia was genuinely committed to contributing to stopping climate change they would bite the bullet, take the hit and stop exporting coal to China. It is time to stop burning fossil fuels. China may pull the plug on it themselves because they cannot go on polluting the world in the interest of cheap energy to support their manufacturing businesses and exports.

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Post Category: Conservation