Cats and dogs fuel strong human opinions. Occasionally, other humans collect data about those opinions. Here’s a new heap of such data:
“Opinions from the Front Lines of Cat Colony Management Conflict,” M. Nils Peterson, Brett Hartis, Shari Rodriguez, Matthew Green, Christopher A. Lepczyk [pictured here], PLoS ONE 7(9), epub September 6, 2012, e44616. The authors, at North Carolina State University and at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, explain:
“Outdoor cats represent a global threat to terrestrial vertebrate conservation, but management has been rife with conflict due to differences in views of the problem and appropriate responses to it. To evaluate these differences we conducted a survey of opinions about outdoor cats and their management with two contrasting stakeholder groups, cat colony caretakers (CCCs) and bird conservation professionals (BCPs) across the United States….
“Group opinions were polarized… To the extent the beliefs held by CCCs are rooted in lack of knowledge and mistrust, rather than denial of directly observable phenomenon, the conservation community can manage these conflicts more productively…”
(Thanks to investigator and cat-observer Janine Neil for bringing this to our attention.)