Cat Wars

Free Public Lecture

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

Pete Marra

Pete Marra

Director, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
7:00 PM
H.F. DeLuca Forum
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
330 N. Orchard (map)

Pete Marra, an ornithologist and conservation biologist will talk about his new book Cat Wars that tells the story of the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world. This compelling book and lecture traces 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. It 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 describe 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.

Cat Wars paints a revealing picture of a complex global problem--and proposes solutions that foresee a time when wildlife and humans are no longer vulnerable to the impacts of free-ranging cats.


Pete Marra earned his B.S. from Southern CT State University, an M.S. from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1998. He is the Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and has authored over 190 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's second book is entitled - Cat Wars: The devastating consequences of cuddly killer. 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.

Video from the event

Sponsored by:

Madison Audobon Society
community shares of wisconsin
nelson logo

Event contact: Emily Reynolds