Several groups in Spain have called for the eradication of colonies of wild cats to protect biodiversity
There is actually only one native species of wildcat in Spain. The ones frequently seen feeding in urban trash cans and creating a nuisance around tourist hotspots are common house cats that were introduced long ago from the East to control rodents on farms.
These mostly wild animals are already creating a noticeable ecological imbalance, reproducing out of control and preying on native species, and their proliferation is particularly damaging in places like the Balearic and Canary Islands.
“The presence of colonies of big cats or feral cats should not be allowed in sensitive areas, including island ecosystems and areas inhabited by species of conservation interest,” the latest report says.
The groups pointed to the irony that not “a single euro” of government funding goes to protecting many species of birds, small land mammals, bats and reptiles that are routinely exterminated by cats , which also spread flea infestations and disease, often to humans.
Finally, the group highlighted the importance of vaccination, deworming and microchipping of animals captured for sterilization. “In this way, according to the president of the International Foundation for Animal Welfare, “cat colonies will not increase in number and effective control and care can be carried out, avoiding the problems mentioned by biologists”.