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Chris Merkord

Danger comes on two or four legs

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The bodies of about 2,400 birds that died in collisions with Toronto buildings were displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum this year. According to a recent federal study, 16.4 million birds die each year in collisions with houses and buildings in Canada. Photograph by: Victor Ferreira , The Canadian Press
A federal study underlines the extent to which Canada is a perilous place for birds
MONTREAL - It isn’t the fact that 269 million birds are now estimated to die from human-related activities each year in Canada that surprises wildlife scientist Richard Elliot.
What really stuns him about a landmark federal study on bird mortality in this country is that cats account for 75 per cent of those deaths, killing more birds than all other causes combined. (The study categorizes house cats as a human-related source of mortality for birds, although the number of deaths attributed to feline attacks also includes those by feral cats.)
“It’s a staggering number (and) a shocking revelation,” said Elliot, the director of wildlife research for Environment Canada and the lead scientist in the study. “But at least we now have some idea of the magnitude of the problem.”
The results of the four-year study, which were published in October in Avian Conservation and Ecology, the online scientific journal of Bird Studies Canada and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, paint a grim portrait of the perils facing the avian population.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Danger+comes+four+legs/9257793/story.html

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