Feral cats caught killing endangered seabirds on Kauai
  • Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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Feral cats caught killing endangered seabirds on Kauai

  • COURTESY DLNR

    A feral cat was seen carrying a seabird in its mouth.

  • COURTESY KAUAI ENDANGERED SEABIRD RECOVERY PROJECT

    A seabird carcass on Kauai.

Feral cats are being blamed for the deaths of six endangered Hawaiian Petrels at a remote breeding colony in Hono o Na Pali Natural Area Reserve on Kauai.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said the birds had been dragged from their breeding burrows by feral cats and partially eaten, including one incident that was caught on a monitoring camera.

Andre Raine, coordinator for the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project, said during the past two years, 48 endangered seabirds were killed by feral cats.

Saying that this “represents just the tip of the iceberg,” Raine added: “If we continue to have large numbers of feral cats roaming the landscape, the situation will only deteriorate for these beautiful and iconic birds. We can all help by encouraging responsible pet ownership, which includes keeping cats indoors and away from our native wildlife.”

“The Hawaiian Petrel is an endangered seabird found only in the Hawaiian Islands. Its populations have declined dramatically in recent years on Kauai, where it faces a number of threats including being eaten by introduced predators such as cats. Several colonies of these birds are now being protected by seabird management projects, which includes the control of introduced predators.”

Hawaiian Petrels come to Kauai to breed from April to December and nest in burrows which they dig in the ground under native ferns and at the base of large trees such as ohia.

The state land department said that at this time of year, petrels are incubating a single egg, and are extremely vulnerable to cats and other predators who can get into burrows to kill them.

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    • The Humane Societies in Hawaii support the idiotic “spay and release” program, which enables lazy/selfish people to feed feral cats but otherwise take no responsibility for them. Feral cats are devastating to wildlife. I stopped donating to the Honolulu Humane Society because they are willing to sacrifice native and endangered animals in favor of feral cats. This attitude of “spay and release” has got to stop. Feral cats (and pigs and other destructive invasive pets) have to be eradicated.

    • The Humane Societies in Hawaii support the !diotic “spay and release” program, which enables lazy/selfish people to feed feral cats but otherwise take no responsibility for them. Feral cats are devastating to wildlife. I stopped donating to the Honolulu Humane Society because they are willing to sacrifice native and endangered animals in favor of feral cats. This attitude of “spay and release” has got to stop. Feral cats (and pigs and other destructive invasive pets) have to be eradicated.

  • Irresponsible pet owners are responsible for this, the cat is doing its job, efficiently killing birds and any other animal it can. Pet owners are responsible for the extinction of endemic seabirds that once they are gone, will be gone forever. Unfortunately, cats must pay the price for their irresponsible owners and must be taken out for the good of the endangered, endemic birds.

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