Cats are a nuisance to wildlife in New Zealand! Edit call…

Cats have long held a special place in the life of conservationist Julie Boyd, who worked as a breeder in the past. Adding color to his life with his friendships, Boyd lives freely in the town of Kaipara Flats in the countryside of Aotearoa Island in northern New Zealand with his cats, who also hunt rodents, on its large ground:

“I have an old cat named Padmé who is 17-18 years old and does not catch anything. I also have three other cats. Ariki, on the other hand, likes to hang out in the barn where she knows the rats will take refuge in autumn.”

With 1.4 million domestic cats, Aotearoa has one of the highest cat ownership rates in the world. At least 40% of households have one or more cats. At the same time, the number of stray cats in the region is expressed in millions.


However, this striking image also has disastrous consequences. According to research and estimates by Forest and Bird, one of the nation’s leading wildlife conservation groups; In New Zealand, cats alone kill around 1.1 million native birds every year. This situation pushes certain species to the danger of extinction.

In fact, a flightless bird called the Stephens Island Wren (Lyall’s wren) is believed to have been wiped out by the cat of a man who guarded the island’s lighthouse in the late 19th century.

Despite this story and research findings, many New Zealand cat owners rely on cats to hunt mice and rats while recognizing that cats are wild animals. Previously, cats were excluded from Predator Free 2050, which the government was preparing to rid the island nation of pests, including cacti, ferrets and species of rats. Environmental groups are now calling for cats to be added to the plan.

Boyd, on the other hand, doesn’t believe Predator Free 2050 or any other cat patch will fix the issue:

“Cats may seem like the easiest predators to eliminate, but for many people they play an important role. Pet cats are often considered part of the family and they also kill significant numbers of rodents in these areas. areas.

Tamsin Orr-Walker, head of the Kea Conservation Trust, says that if New Zealand has a chance of drastically reducing its predator numbers over the next 30 years, it should also have a serious discussion about cats:

“The problem is specifically related to our relationship with cats. I am not anti-cat. There are many people who have cats as pets. But few people see their pets as predators; in fact, all cats are like that.”


Orr-Walker wants cats to be considered in the Predator Free 2050 plan and introduces stricter regulations on domestic cats. Orr-Walker, on the other hand, cites Australia, which requires owners to register their cats within the first three months of adoption, limits ownership to two cats per household in some parts of the country, and mandates blankets. night lights for cats, as a useful measure. example of the need for stricter regulation.

In August 2018, in the village of Omaui in southern New Zealand, it was forbidden to keep cats to protect wildlife. Commenting on the decision at the time, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center President Dr. Peter Marra said, “Cats are amazing pets. But they shouldn’t be let loose on the streets unsupervised,” he says, recalling the dog rule in the country:

“We don’t allow dogs to roam outside. It’s also cat time.”

Dr. Marra says 63 animal extinctions worldwide are associated with an explosion in the population of domestic cats. In regions with sensitive ecosystems, such as New Zealand, the problem is more serious.


Orr-Walker is currently collecting data on feral cats attacking the adult kea domestic bird. But there are other examples:

New Zealand’s endangered alpine parrot has gone from a pesky bird known for its mischievous nature to a nationally endangered species hiding high, with an estimated population of 3,000-7,000 dwindling.

New Zealand’s native birds, insects, lizards and bats are vulnerable to predators such as cats, as New Zealand is by nature a terrestrial place with only a few bat species. In one case in 2010, a feral cat dismembered 102 short-tailed bats roosting in beech trees on Mount Ruapehu in a week.

Dr. Marra says the problem is not caused by cats, but by humans, and points out that social media posts of cats have caused an explosion in the number of house cats.

*BBC, The Guardian (New Zealand cats are decimating native wildlife – should they be treated as pests?)

Source: Special Web

Leave a Comment