Statement on the passing of William A. Turnage, executive director at The Wilderness Society 1978-1986
Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, issued this statement:
Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, issued this statement:
Adapted from a National Wildlife Federation post by David Mizejewski
The National Wildlife magazine recently looked at the enormous toll that free-ranging domesticated cats take on wildlife in the United States. The latest study has conservatively concluded that between 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals are killed annually by cats, making them one of the largest human-influenced sources of mortality for birds and mammals in the country.
When domesticated cats prey on wild birds and other wildlife they are simply following their natural instinct. Ecologically, however, the effect of that predation is anything but natural and has even resulted in the wildlife extinctions. One thing we can all do to help solve this problem is to keep our pet cats indoors. Not only is this better for wildlife, it’s also better for our cats. Outdoor cats face threats from predators, cars and disease and as a result, have much shorter lifespans compared to indoor cats.
Here are our tips for keeping your indoor cat happy and healthy.
Keep Your Cat Active. It’s all too easy for an indoor cat to go stir crazy if it can’t work out that excess energy. The good news is there’s no shortage of awesome cat toys that will keep your cat moving. There are toys that look like mice, toys with feathers, battery-powered toys with flashing light and sound, laser pointers, toys that move, toys on strings–everything that you need to help keep your cat pouncing and stalking safely indoors.
Set up a Bird Viewing Station. Even well-fed pet cats still retain the wildcat’s natural attraction to small animals. You can indulge that attraction by setting up a bird viewing station inside. Simply install a cat window perch and put up a bird feeder or bath right outside the window. Your pet cat will have hours of viewing pleasure and the wildlife will be safe.
Let Your Cat Go "Hunting". In addition to toys, you can help your cat exercise its natural hunting instinct by hiding its favorite treats around the house. Freeze treats in ice cubes or use special cat treat puzzles and toys that make your cat work to extract its reward to offer hours of mental stimulation. These are the same enrichment tactics used to keep lions, tigers and other predators in good mental and physical condition in zoos.
Pets in Pairs. Few of us can be home all day to love on our cats, so consider getting a second cat as a companion. Having a buddy to run and play with can go a long way in keeping indoor cats happy and stimulated. There’s no shortage of homeless cats at your local shelter just waiting for someone to take them home.
Use Catnip. When cats rub on or chew catnip, it produces a mild natural high that is both harmless and temporary, but that is pleasurable to cats. Not all cats are affected by catnip, and it has no effect on kittens under six months of age, but if your cat does respond to it, it can be one more tool to help keep your indoor cat stimulated and happy.
Stop Door Dashing. Watch this segment on NatGeo WILD’s Pet Talk for tips on how to keep your cats from dashing out the door.
Let Your Cat Climb. Cat trees are a tried and true way of allowing your cat to exercise its urge to climb, and they come in all shapes and sizes to fit your space and decor. If you’re handy, you can even build your own.
Go for a Walk. Believe it or not it is possible to train your cat to walk on a leash. It’s easiest to start training your cat when it’s just a kitten, but even older cats can learn. Start by getting your cat used to wearing a harness for short periods of time indoors, then move on to attaching the leash and rewarding the cat with treats when it walks with you. Never pull on the leash. Once the cat is comfortable with the harness and leash, it’s time to try it outside. Start slowly, with just short trips outside and gradually increase the length of the walks as your cat gets more comfortable. If it’s too much of a challenge, work with a professional animal trainer. Remember, the idea of walking dogs on leashes once seemed weird, but now it’s the standard. We can do the same with cats.
Build a Catio. Another way to give your kitty some fresh air is to install a “catio.” A catio is an enclosed structure that you can install in your yard or on your deck or patio to give your cat some time outside without having to put it on a leash or putting wildlife in danger (or your cat in danger from wildlife).
Spay and Neuter. Always spay and neuter your pet cats. Intact cats can be driven by hormones to try to escape outside to try to find a mate. By spaying and neutering, you eliminate this added stress on your pet cat while at the same time minimizing the allure of the outdoors and eliminating any chance that it could contribute to the unwanted cat population.
Love Your Cat. Unlike their wild ancestors, domesticated cats crave human attention. Often the most effective way of keeping your indoor cat happy is to just pay attention to it. Snuggle your cat, pet your cat, and play with your cat every day. You’ll be surprised at how far a little attention from its human can go in ensuring your indoor cat’s wellbeing.
Mars, Incorporated, the world’s largest candymaker, made headlines in September with their $1 billion pledge to fight climate change. The money will go to renewable energy for their supply chain, projects that fight deforestation, support for small-scale farmers, and more efficient farming and shipping, among other big investments.
In the corporate sector, Mars is one of the major leaders on this climate change, and EarthShare member nonprofits have been there from the beginning to advance their sustainability goals.
Mars was already thinking about sustainability in the late 1990s when it began working with the Rainforest Alliance to figure out how to support small farmers and the tropical forests its ingredients are grown in. In 2009, management announced their entire cocoa supply would be Rainforest Alliance certified by 2020.
Mars also realized climate change was putting its business at risk. Growing regions have gotten hotter and drier, making it harder to grow ingredients like cocoa, peanuts, and coffee. So Mars decided to power their operations with 100% renewable energy, and join the Ceres BICEP Network, a group of businesses that advocate for stronger climate and energy policies.
Mars also worked with experts at another EarthShare member, World Resources Institute (WRI), to analyze their carbon footprint and develop sustainability targets. These targets take into account the latest science on the global carbon budget, water stress and other ecological limits.
“We take our responsibility for our products and the supply chain behind them seriously,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, global sustainability director at Mars. “For us that means understanding the science not only behind those impacts, but behind the limits we must all learn to operate within.”
More and more American companies are following Mars’ lead, knowing that climate action is good for the economy and planet.
If you want your company to take strong action, download the Power Forward 3.0 report to learn how companies are increasing their clean energy efforts while improving their bottom lines. And If you’re a corporate sustainability professional, contact JP Leous at WRI to learn how their experts can assist companies with science-based environmental target setting.
The Wilderness Society commends Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-CA 24) for their courage and foresight in seeking protections for wildlands stretching across California’s rugged and scenic Central Coast.
The event is co-organized by Wilderness Society Recreation Policy Associate, Hannah Malvin, through her work at here and her organization Pride Outside, dedicated to providing relevant, inclusive opportunities outdoors for the LGBTQ community.
It seems as though Rep. Rob Bishop and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are locked in a contest to see who can author the most radical proposal to sell out our public lands to development.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has introduced a bill, H.R. 3990, that would make it harder for presidents to protect federal lands as national monuments under the Antiquities Act – and make it easier to gut protections for lands already designated as monuments.