[CT Birds] Connecticut Audubon Society presents "Bird Protection & Outdoor Cats: A Talk by Pete Marra"

Emily Rosenthal erosenthal at ctaudubon.org
Thu May 11 11:12:27 EDT 2017

Bird Protection & Outdoor Cats: A Talk by Pete Marra, Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Join us for "Bird Protection & Outdoor Cats," a talk by Smithsonian ornithologist Peter Marra, Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m., at Trinity College's McCook Auditorium, Hartford. Buy tickets at www.ctaudubon.org/lecture. Tickets are $5 for members of the Connecticut Audubon Society, or $10 for non-members.

Marra is co-author of Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, published by Princeton University Press. Cat Wars tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world. In his lecture, Marra will trace the historical and cultural ties between humans and cats from early domestication to the current boom in pet ownership, along the way accessibly explaining the science of extinction, population modeling, and feline diseases.

He will chart the developments that have led to our present impasse - from breakthrough studies on cat predation to cat-eradication programs underway in Australia today. It will describes how a small but vocal minority of cat advocates has campaigned successfully for no action in much the same way that special interest groups have stymied attempts to curtail smoking and climate change.

Marra directs the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. A former staff member of the Connecticut Audubon Society, he gave the keynote address at the organization's 2014 annual meeting, at the Peabody Museum in New Haven.
He earned his B.S. from Southern Connecticut State University, an M.S. from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1998, and has been at the Smithsonian Institution since 1999. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers published in journals such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Conservation Biology. He co-edited the frequently cited book Birds of Two Worlds. Pete started Neighborhood Nestwatch and The Migratory Connectivity Project and is co-founder of Tree House Concerts. He is an avid fisherman, passionate cook and father of two.

Marra's talk will be the second in our spring series, called "Conservation Lectures: Defending the Earth, its People, and its Wildlife." In March, Deborah Cramer, author of The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey, delivered the first lecture to a sold out auditorium at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Major support for the lectures is generously provided by Lawrence J. Lunden, a former member of Connecticut Audubon's state Board of Directors. The event is part of a Connecticut Audubon's spring campaign to call attention to the risks Connecticut's birds and other wildlife will face if the U.S. Endangered Species Act is gutted, as many members of Congress have threatened.

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