Skip to comments.N.J. Town Targets Cats in Effort to Protect Endangered Birds
Posted on 08/05/2007 9:26:04 AM PDT by nuconvert
N.J. Town Targets Cats in Effort to Protect Endangered Birds
August 04, 2007
CAPE MAY, N.J.
Cats are as much a part of this seaside town's genteel culture as rainbow-colored Victorian bed-and-breakfasts, trolley tours and cocktails on the porch at sunset.
They're also suspect No. 1 in many deaths of the endangered piping plover, a fist-sized, white-and-brown fuzzball of a bird that has closed beaches and stopped development projects in the interest of protecting their habitat.
With only 115 pairs of piping plovers left in the state, the federal government may intervene on the side of the birds, which has set both fur and feather flying here. Cat lovers fear the roaming felines will be euthanized, while bird lovers are wary of a rare species being wiped out.
"This is a very emotional issue; this really is a cat town," said resident Pat Peckham. "I think they should leave the cats where they are. I'm a firm believer in letting nature take its course."
A cat's nature and its appetite for critters are just what have bird enthusiasts concerned.
Cape May is one of the prime bird-watching spots in all of North America; the World Series of Birding is held here each year. And with bird watching and related expenditures bringing in nearly $2 billion a year to New Jersey's economy, the feathers may win this fight.
The plovers, which breed on East Coast beaches during warm weather, build nest in sandy, open stretches of beach, making them and their chicks easy prey for a variety of predators, including foxes, gulls, raccoons and cats.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Feral cats should be trapped and euthanized regardless of whether they affect an endangered bird species or not. They aren’t part of the natural ecosystem and they don’t belong there.
They need to “target” dogs, too. We keep our cats indoors (so they won’t be coyote snacks), but when we had our dog here, he was a bird killing machine. No way to discourage him, either. Everyone is quick to blame cats for bird deaths and maulings, but dogs are just as bad.
Natural ecosystem? You sound like a Gore-ite.
Guess what? Lots of critters currently in the “ecosystem” aren’t natural to it—including us two legged critters. Most breeds of dogs aren’t aren’t natural to the “ecosystem” in the US, and let me tell you, packs of wild dogs are far more dangerous than feral cats. We had to shoot a number of them last year when they were running down our cattle. They killed several calves. These were dogs, not coyotes.
People bring their dogs to the country, then desert them to fend for themselves, and the next thing you know, they’ve joined a pack and have become a menace.
I had a Siberian Husky like that. She stayed in the yard though. I don’t have a problem with any non-native animal being removed (killed or otherwise) to protect local native species. It’s too bad that someone, somewhere contributed to the problem by letting their domestic pets run wild.
You see a cute little endangered beach bird.
Your kitty sees lunch.
In my world you keep your animal in your yard are home if you want them healthy.
“They [cats] arent part of the natural ecosystem and they dont belong there.”
Mice and rats are, though......
I don’t necessarily disagree that something might need to be done with the cats but a questions arises with that 2 billion dollar figure. I’m having trouble believing that bird watching brings in 2 billion dollars into the state or if it does that the piping plover brings in the majority share of it. I’ll bet cats and their related expenses are a multibillion dollar addition to New Jersey, just in terms of the sales taxes on cat food, cat meds,kitty litter and related cat boxes, cat condos and beds, cat nip and cat toys.
So if you are going to cite economics, the cats win hands down!
Sounds like the sooner they become extinct, the better. Survival of the fittest, it's natures design. If they are too stupid to change their habits and nest where it's safe, then they can join the rest of the fossils. It's completely natural and has been happening for thousands (or billions if you are of that religion) years.
When we lived in East Texas (rural area) people would tell me how upset they were that their cat *ran away*, and I always thought...no, you’re cat was hit by a car, eaten by coyotes, shot by a farmer, or something like those things. It’s a short life for loose cats. I read a number of years ago that the average age at death for an intact tomcat who was allowed to roam was 5 years. I’m sure if they are neutered they last a little longer because they don’t get septic from a catfight. However, there are still cars and coyotes and people who don’t care for cats.
Gosh, it’s pretty difficult for a dog that is not roaming around to kill many birds. Not impossible (one of my goldens once caught a bird on the fly as it flew out of a bush while we were hunting with her—but it wasn’t a gamebird and we released it none the worse for wear), but unlikely enough that unless they are roaming at large they are probably not killing enough birds to make a dent. I also advocate dogs being kept on their own property and under control.
No they aren't. Sounds like you dog picked up a bad habit which you were unable to break it of. Dogs don't normally become obsessed with killing tweety birds. They do have suppressed natural instincts to hunt rodents and larger game birds like pheasants and grouse. Usually you have to work with them to bring that out. They are quite content to depend on you to fill their dog dish and fetch the stick, which is why dogs are so loyal. It's all about the food dish for them.
Plus, there aren't packs of wild dogs roaming around in numbers anywhere near the numbers feral cats. You might be interested in using google to look up statistics on feral cats and the number of song birds they kill annually.
“You see a cute little endangered beach bird.
Your kitty sees lunch.”
I see a threat to the Horseshoe crab population. Been through this already with crabs and migratory birds.
The cats kill the birds, the birds cannot eat all the crab eggs, the crabs clean the marshlands, the people can catch and eat healthy fish.
You do realize that your cat was licking his butt just before you opened that ice cream bar....
And that is why you need snakes. The cats are not the natural predator, but the snakes are. Too many of these are killed by people overreacting out of fear and ignaorance. And then they wonder why the rodents get out of control. See Chinas rat problem for reference.
Jersey has tunnel vision for wildlife
I don’t think that having domestic and feral cats running all over is “letting nature take it’s course.”
What is this nonsense of trapping, neutering and releasing feral cats back into the wild. What utter stupidity. Kill all feral cats. They are bad news.
I say outlaw Garfield - and Snoopy, too. Keep Tweetie.
Animal task force shows claws
There was a time when the taxpayer had control of his wallet. How did all these enviro-mental cases get unlimited access to our pocket books?
If feral cats are a problem, declare open season on them and be done with it. Besides, feral cats are more of a threat to domestic cats, raccoons, fox and other furry critters with all the diseases they carry like feline leukemia's, parvo virus, mange, etc. they spread around.
Please note, the target is a cat.
I guarantee you seagulls have more to do with the decline of the plover population than a cat does.
Sounds like they need more feral cats, not less.
Most people in the country (no doubt where the birdwatchers watch birds) do NOT keep their dogs confined. That’s one reason why they move to the country—or so they say.
Dogs like to hunt. They like to hunt things that move. Everyone I know either complains about their dogs killing birds, or brags about it.
As I read the article, two billion is what birdwatchers spend in the state of New Jersey every year, not what the government is spending on the plovers.
cute little fuzzball
A nutty neighbor started opening the traps to let the cats out.
I started shooting them!
cat fight, the cat lovers aren’t going to like this.
I started shooting them!
I'm surprised you didn't get in trouble for shooting your neighbors!
LOL the animals not humans!
Yeah, we had occasional problems with people’s dogs when we lived in a rural area. There are alot of people out there who think that the world revolves around them.
One of my goldens is hell on lizards! But, she’s never caught a bird so far as I know.
OK, really, I guess one has to choose their favorite of the two. I have to choose the cat over the bird, because I've yet to have a cat fly over my car and release droppings on it. Birds do this all the time.
We should care for those critters among us who are most vulnerable. IMO the ferals should be eliminated permanently. These precious shore birds have enough natural predators as it is.
“And with bird watching and related expenditures bringing in nearly $2 billion a year to New Jersey’s economy, the feathers may win this fight.”
Translation: “We really don’t give a rats a$$ about the stupid bird - we just don’t want to see any of that lovely money leave our state”
The golden I grew up with apparently had some kind of lizard-catching quota. She must have gotten a bonus if she made us holler by putting them in our shoes.
The first time it happened was to my brother. He yelled so loud, the neighbors woke up. Come to find out, the dog had gifted him with half of the lizard - the half with the head still on.
You wouldn’t have thought growing up in suburban Houston would have taught us to do a daily shoe-check.