Peter Marra, Ph.D.
Center Head of the Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Institution
Peter Marra, Ph.D., head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, discusses the effects of free-ranging cats on biodiversity, especially birds. In his new book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer Marra details scientific evidence that cats, even pets, play in killing hundreds of millions of birds each year.
The book has been described as “a brave, engaging, and careful accounting of the cats we love and the devastation they inflict on birds and other wildlife." Marra’s research and book shed light on the difficulties of modern conservation and the challenges of navigating an individual-based perspective (animal welfare) vs. a population-level perspective (conservation biology).
This event was proposed by Dan Ardia and is sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Earth & Environment and the Biological Foundations of Behavior and Science & Technology Studies Programs.