There are some estimates and uncertainties (to me) in this:
- the figure of 16 per cat is estimated
- the figure of 626 cats per square kilometer seems to be estimated
- these estimates are based on the area around Reading, how typical is the area?
- Does the research differentiate between domestic cat and feral cat?
- the researchers say there are 9 million domestic cats in Britain. I don't know how accurate this figure is or how it was arrived at.
The next job for the researchers is to track the cats over their territory using GPS devices to see how far they roam. This research, as I understand it, relates to "family pets" or a better description would be companion cats. If that is the case the figures would be very different in the United States as the majority of domestic cats in that country are full-time indoor cats.
Er, um, what did you guys say the domestic cat was doing to wildlife?
It was felt after the research that the domestic cat was responsible, at least in part, for the 60% decline in the sparrow in Britain since the 1980s. I am not sure that this research will finally clear up the argument of the domestic cat's impact on native species. The biggest factor for declines in wild life will certainly be from our activities. This was taken into account by the researchers in making estimates but I wonder how accurate they are when they say that the domestic cat kills 16 animals a year?