Feral cats are becoming a big problem in many parts of the country. But the ‘cat conversation’ can be contentious. Save the Kiwi National Predator Control Advisor John Bissell discusses why feral cats are becoming more of a threat, and why this observation isn’t an attack on domestic cats.
He says: ‘Feral cat numbers in the landscape have boomed in recent years. I know of projects that are removing them in the hundreds each year, when they used to remove them in the tens.
‘Why is this? Quite simply, it’s because of food. Milder winters are growing their prey populations quite nicely and feral cats are riding on the crest of that wave.
‘Cats ride the top of the food wave and ferrets come along in behind.’
Incredibly, a few irresponsible owners of domestic cats and kittens sometimes dump them in the Kawekas and other rural areas around Hawke’s Bay.
This isn’t just cruel to pets and a threat to wildlife. It is also a crime under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
- Te Ngahere are doing a fine job checking the trap lines in the Kaweka Forest Park. Their Facebook post on 29 July tells us about the cats they have been catching with great success.
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