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Nearly 150 wedge-tailed shearwaters killed by cats and dogs on Kauai

  • Courtesy Hawaii DLNR

    This video is about Kauai Shearwaters Killed,

  • COURTESY DLNR
                                Off-leash dogs and feral cats are responsible for the death of between 140 and 150 wedge-tailed shearwaters on Kauai during this year’s nesting season, DLNR officials said in a news release today.

    COURTESY DLNR

    Off-leash dogs and feral cats are responsible for the death of between 140 and 150 wedge-tailed shearwaters on Kauai during this year’s nesting season, DLNR officials said in a news release today.

State wildlife officials said that nearly 150 wedge-tailed shearwaters on Kauai have been killed by off-leash dogs and feral cats during this year’s nesting season, so far.

The shoreline burrowing seabirds, known as Uau kani in Hawaiian, are nocturnal, and easy prey for both dogs and cats.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife says that in the most recent incident — reported by a concerned individual earlier this week — at least 35 birds were found dead. Staff from the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project responded on behalf of DOFAW, and found shearwater carcasses strewn along the cliffs of a large area.

“It was a really horrific scene,” said staff member Abby Kreuser in news release. “There were dead birds everywhere and most of them were chicks that were only a few weeks away from fledging. It looks like a large proportion of the young birds from the colony have been wiped out, as well as many breeding adults”.

Six years ago, DLNR says 80 shearwaters were killed by cats and dogs over a two-month period.

Although many shearwaters are killed every year on the Garden Isle, DLNR said this year has been particularly bad, with four reported mass killings at separate locations.

In another incident at a separate colony on the south shore, at least 55 wedge-tailed shearwaters were killed.

“These kinds of incidents happen annually, and our shearwaters cannot withstand such a high level of predation,” said Andre Raine, KESRP project coordinator in a statement. “We urge people to keep their dogs on leashes in coastal areas and keep their cats indoors.

To report wildlife killings, call 643-DLNR or use the DLNRTip app.

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