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The latest threat to biodiversity and public health might be your cat.

Peter Marra, director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, will give a free talk on the threat of free-ranging cats at Lakeland University on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bradley Theatre.

Marra's new book, "Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer," covers mounting scientific evidence that in the U.S. alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions.

Marra's mission is to communicate science and conservation of wildlife to as wide an audience as possible.

His primary interests lie in understanding the factors that control population persistence and dynamics, so his research examines the roles of climate, habitat, food and pathogens, as well as other anthropogenic sources of mortality on the individual condition of both migratory and resident birds.

He has founded several large research and communication initiatives, including Neighborhood Nestwatch, The Migratory Connectivity Project and the Animal Mortality and Monitoring Program.

Marra and his students, post docs and colleagues have published more than 170 papers in a wide range of scholarly journals.

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