Feral Dogs a Threat to Wildlife Says Experts

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Dogs are currently killing a lot of animal species that they are now declared as a threat to wildlife.

In a report by BBC News, feral or free-ranging dogs are one of the major reasons to the extinction of nearly a dozen of wild bird and animal species, and are now the third worst human-introduced predators after rats and cats.

Moreover, dogs are now also said to threaten nearly 200 species of animals worldwide, wherein some are critically endangered.

Worldwide, there are about one billion domestic dogs, which ranges from feral and free-ranging, to the ones with human owners.

And although experts are having a hard time determining the exact number of free-ranging dogs existing, they are certain that it is on the rise.

“It’s quite a matter of serious concern,” Piero Genovesi, head of the invasive species specialist unit at the IUCN conservation body in an interview with the BBC.

“As the human population rises, so will the number of dogs, and this problem could get worse.”

What’s worse is that the dogs have various damaging ways of affecting these species, such as by becoming predators, disturbing the natural ecosystem, transmit disease, compete with natural predators for prey, and interbreed with closely-related species.

There are many recorded cases wherein our canine-friends have predated or harassed animal species considered endangered, such as the snow leopard, the lynx and the New Zealand quail.

In fact, in Chile, about 70 percent of the world’s tiniest deer brought to a rehab centre, were due to a dog attack.

And in Europe, the feral dog population is so huge that it’s starting to interbreed with wolves, therefore polluting the purity of their genes.

The proposed solution of killing them has been met with controversies, and was even banned in several countries.

As of now, experts are having a hard time to come up with an effective solution, which are applicable to every situation.

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