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Kauai feral cats shown killing endangered seabirds

By Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 06:34 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2014

Feral Cat Attacks from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Scientists are concerned about a large number of endangered seabirds killed by feral cats in remote areas of Kauai.

The Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project has been conducting field research on endangered seabirds that include the Newell's shearwaters to gain a better understanding of causes to the decline in the population. Video camerasset up at burrows in the mountains show images of feral cats entering and killing breeding birds.

The project team have recorded 25 instances on camera of feral cats attempting to enter burrows of nesting shearwaters, according to a news release by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. So far, the remains of nine endangered seabirds killed by cats have been discovered at multiple remote sites on Kauai this season. 

To address the issue, the Kauai County Council created a feral cat task force to look into the matter and come up with recommendations on how to best manage the population estimated at 15,000 to 20,000. Peter Adler, project director of the Kauai Feral Cat Task Force, is scheduled to provide a report to the Kauai County Council at a July 2 meeting.

In a video posted on KESRP's website, a cat is seen entering a Newell's shearwater burrow at a site within the Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve. The feline then exits with a shearwater bird in its mouth before killing it. Scientists described the seabird as one of a pair of the endangered Newell's shearwaters that had successfully fledged a chick last year.

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bumba wrote:
Endangering a child - misdemeanor. Harmng a cat - Class C felony. Good one legislators.
on June 27,2014 | 06:44AM
HanabataDays wrote:
This is explained very simply by the difference between the words "endangering" and "harming". "Endanger" = "put at risk of potential injury". "Harm" = actual injury.
on June 27,2014 | 07:38AM
fiveo wrote:
Cats eat birds. What do you want the cats to do. Just being cats. And by the way, cats who are not "feral" will also catch and eat birds if the opportunity presents. The purpose of this article seems geared to support those on Kauai who want to get rid of the feral cat population and to control the cat population overall. Remember there was a recent attempt to require that all cats be required to have tags. Absent that, the cats had the potential to end up in manapuas.
on June 27,2014 | 07:54AM
ryan02 wrote:
The feral cat population NEEDS to be "gotten rid of." Feral cats don't have a natural habitat because they are not wild animals -- they are PETS that people want to feed but not take true responsibility for. Instead, they let the cats risk illness, getting hit by a car, killed in a fight, pneumonia, and all the other hazards of living in the wild, just so THEY don't have to be burdened with taking the cat home. If you don't want to take the cat home, take it to the pound. There is nothing "compassionate" about letting a cat die in the street (or kill native/endangered animals).
on June 27,2014 | 08:16AM
ryan02 wrote:
The State and counties have got to get serious about eradicating feral cats and pigs. The people who feed feral cats are also morally responsible for deaths of native and endangered animals. If anybody thinks feral cats deserve to live, then TAKE THEM HOME WITH YOU instead of letting them destroy the environment and spread diseases. I think those people just want to pat themselves on the back for being "do-gooders" without actually having to take the responsibilities of being a cat owner.
on June 27,2014 | 08:12AM
Kuokoa wrote:
Too bad they not eating the ferrel chickens.
on June 27,2014 | 08:58AM
iwanaknow wrote:
Kill those ferals and make stew for the homeless?
on June 27,2014 | 09:53AM
SueH wrote:
When the State air dropped rat poison on a small, northshore Molokai islet to protect the native Loulu palms growing there from rat devastation, nobody seemed to care. Now feral cats are destroying endangered sea birds and action needs to taken to curb this loss.
on June 27,2014 | 10:04AM
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