Displaying items by tag: feral cats

 

Talkin' Pets News

January 12, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital - Lutz, FL

Producer - Zach Budin

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media and Production - Bob Page

Special Guest - Dani-Elle Kleha Releases a New EP "Runnin' On Dreams" and will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 1/12/19 at 630pm ET to discuss her new music, pets and give away some CD's

Give outdoor cats a helping paw this winter. Help us reach our goal of $20,000 by Dec. 18. Donate today!
 

Jon,

Cats are resourceful and resilient animals — but they still need help sometimes, especially during this time of year. We need to raise $20,000 by December 18 to help more cats and kittens this winter — can they count on your urgent support right now?

Cats can survive in the colder months, but sometimes well-meaning people bring them to shelters. And as you know, the vast majority of cats who enter shelters do not make it out alive.

Jon, you can save the lives of cats and kittens with an urgent winter gift to Alley Cat Allies. Please give the most generous gift you can right now — and together we can protect these animals during the winter season.

For the cats,

Becky Robinson   
Becky Robinson

Becky Robinson
President & Founder
Alley Cat Allies

P.S. Please make a gift by December 18 to Alley Cat Allies and save more cats this season.

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BETHESDA, Md., USA – Oct. 13, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies will celebrate the international premiere of Global Cat Day on Oct. 16, 2017, as a day for people around the world to stand up for policies that protect all cats in their communities. Participants are signing a pledge on GlobalCatDay.org to support advocacy efforts for all cats, including the cats who call the outdoors their home.

With the campaign already racing toward a goal of 100,000 people taking the pledge by year’s end, Alley Cat Allies president and founder Becky Robinson explained that the lasting impact of Global Cat Day will be a powerful message about protecting cats who live outside.

“Too often, local policies lead to cats being taken from the only home they’ve ever known – the outdoors,” Robinson said. “Community cats are no different from raccoons, otters or deer in that they are self-reliant animals who are totally comfortable outside with no need for human companionship. Global Cat Day is a turning point in helping more people to understand these essential facts about the cats living outside in their communities.”

GlobalCatDay.org includes short videos explaining the nature of community cats, plus the Global Cat Day pledge:

“I pledge to be an ally to cats, including those who call the outdoors their home. I will advocate for compassionate policies that protect every cat in my community.”

Global Cat Day has evolved from National Feral Cat Day®, which Alley Cat Allies created on its 10th anniversary in 2001 to raise awareness about community cats, promote Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), and recognize the millions of compassionate Americans who care for them. Because compassion knows no borders, international participation in National Feral Cat Day grew each year, reaching at least 20 countries with last year’s edition. That mark has already been eclipsed this year, with engagement for the inaugural Global Cat Day coming from more than 40 countries, from Australia to the United Kingdom, Belgium to Brazil, Saudi Arabia to South Africa and many more.

“It’s very exciting that interest in advocating for outdoor cats is coming from so many corners of the globe, because it’s more evidence that this is now truly an international movement,” Robinson added.

Follow all the excitement for Global Cat Day on social media with the #GlobalCatDay hashtag.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Alley Cat Allies Deploys Resources to Gulf Coast for Hurricane Recovery

HOUSTON – Sept. 3, 2017 – Alley Cat Allies has deployed an expert, bilingual disaster response team and is sending additional resources to help Texas and Louisiana organizations rescue cats and other animals whose lives continue to be in peril because of Hurricane Harvey.

“Many people and animals have been displaced, shelters are overflowing and families were forced to make difficult decisions about what to do with their animals,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “There are many cats and other animals who haven’t eaten for days and may be lost from their homes. We are eager to help the courageous people who are finding and saving these animals.”

In many cases, community cats, sometimes called feral cats, were left on their own when their human caregivers evacuated as floodwaters rose. The Alley Cat Allies team will help shelters and caregivers throughout Texas and Louisiana to rebuild programs that were in place to help community cats, including Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). They will also be forming a network of people to check on colonies, resume feeding them and place new cat houses and shelters as necessary.

The Alley Cat Allies disaster response team is starting its work in Spring, a Houston suburb, by assisting the Texas Litter Control (TLC) organization. TLC requested help as a member of the Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network. Alley Cat Allies has brought truckloads of traps, dens and cat carriers, which will all be in high demand. Additional supplies such as leashes, cat food, kitty litter, water, blankets and towels are also being delivered.

In Texas and Louisiana, Alley Cat Allies is offering emergency funds to overwhelmed shelters and organizations. In one such case, the Humane Society of Louisiana (HSLA) has used these funds for two disaster-ready transportation vehicles that are facilitating the rescue of hundreds of animals stranded by floodwaters. Jeff Dorson, executive director of HSLA, thanked Alley Cat Allies for helping in a second consecutive year, after the organization previously responded to extreme flooding in 2016.

“Once more, Alley Cat Allies has come to our aid in a time of need,” Dorson said. “This critical support is helping us to save cats and other animals who need our help. The generosity, partnership and good-will are helping us to get through some very challenging days as we try to do as much good as we can.”

Alley Cat Allies will post updates about its hurricane relief efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and donations to support its work can be made online at www.alleycat.org.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve cats’ lives through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 650,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

Hurricane Preparation Tips for Pet Owners, Cat Caregivers in Path of Irma

BETHESDA, Md. – Sept. 6, 2017 – As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida and the Southeastern United States, Alley Cat Allies, the international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting cats, has assembled a set of Disaster Preparation Tips for community cat caregivers, pet owners, and others involved with animals. These tips will help community cat caregivers and pet owners in the path of Irma weather the storm and keep their cats safe. Among the tips:

  1. Make sure to have descriptions of your pets and the community cats (sometimes called feral cats) you care for, along with photos. If you need to look for displaced cats in shelters or other rescue areas, this will help accurately identify them. Make sure all pet tags and animal microchips have up-to-date information.
  2. Enlist a back-up caregiver who is responsible for the community cats in your absence, and network with other community cat caregivers in your area to set up a ‘buddy system.’ This will create a safety net of care for the cats. You may be able to find other cat caregivers in your area through our Feral Friends Network.
  3. Create an emergency contact card for your pets and community cat colonies in case you are not immediately available. Include all contact information for your substitute caregiver. Carry this card in your wallet and your car, give copies to your backup caregiver, and post it somewhere visible in your home like on the refrigerator.
  4. Make a list of local shelters and their contact information. You will need this information in case you need their help or resources.
  5. Keep an emergency supply kit on hand and know where to find it quickly. Disaster kit basics for pets include a pet first-aid kit, a supply of prescription medications for pets, veterinary and microchip ID records, three to seven days of pet food and dishes, a seven-day supply of bottled water per person and per pet, a litter box and litter, a leash and collar, crate or carrier, blankets, and photos of pets and cats in colonies.

It’s not possible to bring community cats with you when evacuating from disasters, so they need their own special disaster plan. Read our Disaster Proofing a Community Cat Colony resource for guidance.

Finally, you can always reach out to Feral Friends Network members in your area for help in preparing community cats for a disaster or finding them after the danger has passed.

With an active Atlantic hurricane season now under way, it’s important to have a disaster readiness plan in place.  

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Non-native Predators Caught on Cameras in Wildlife Refuge

 

 

(Washington, D.C., August  17, 2017) Endangered ‘Alae ‘Ula(Hawaiian Common Gallinule, a subspecies of Common Gallinule formerly called Hawaiian Common Moorhen) are among the latest documented victims of feral cat predation on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i. The pair of breeding adults was attacked and killed while sitting on their nest in a national wildlife refuge in late April. With no adults left to tend the nest, the birds’ remaining three eggs and two hatchlings did not survive. The incubating parents of two more nests were killed by the same feral cat on April 22 and May 19, and six more eggs subsequently failed to hatch. The feral cat is still at large.

The attacks were captured on remote cameras installed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in partnership with American Bird Conservancy (ABC). This predation by cats on endangered birds represents a major setback for conservation efforts and is a harsh reminder of the dangers feral cats and other invasive animals create for Hawai‘i's native species.

“Feral cats, whether they are dumped on the wildlife refuge by irresponsible owners or they find their way onto the refuge from nearby feral cat feeding stations, are having a very significant and tragic impact on Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge's endangered birds,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Project Leader Michael Mitchell. “Throughout Kaua‘i, natural resource managers are doing everything they can to save our native birds. But some species are running out of time, and extinction is forever.”

The recent attacks are among the latest in a long line of killings of endangered Hawaiian birds by feral cats, a non-native species. Unpublished data collected by FWS employees have documented at least 252 suspected cat kills of Hawaiian Common Gallinules, ‘Alae Ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian Coots), Ae‘o (Hawaiian Stilts), Koloa Maoli (Hawaiian Ducks), and Kōlea(Pacific Golden-Plover) in Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge between 2012 and 2014. Seabirds are similarly at risk, especially while in the nest. Feral cats were suspected in the deaths of 22 Laysan Albatross chicksduring a 3-week period in 2015. Recently, a feral cat was caught on camera killing and dragging an endangered ‘Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) out of its nest by the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), an incident that is unfortunately recorded with regularity in remote seabird colonies on the island.

According to KESRP Coordinator Dr. André Raine, “Feral cats are one of the worst of the introduced predators on the island of Kaua‘i — they are widespread throughout the island, are highly adept predators, are capable of killing large numbers of birds in a very short period of time, and regularly kill breeding adult birds, which makes their long-term impact on a breeding population even more devastating.”

“The continued losses of Kaua‘i's unique and endangered birds to cat predation are unsustainable,” said Grant Sizemore, ABC's Director of Invasive Species Programs. “With even wildlife refuges no longer safe from cats, the time has come to pass a comprehensive cat ordinance — such as that recommended by Kaua‘i's Feral Cat Task Force — to encourage the responsible care of pets and safekeeping of wildlife.”

The task force, which included stakeholders from animal welfare, conservation, and community members, submitted its recommendations to the County Council in March 2014. Those recommendations include setting a goal of “zero feral, abandoned, or stray cats” and implementing practical solutions such as sterilization and confinement as key strategies for addressing the cat, wildlife, and human health concerns associated with free-roaming cats. Those concerns include toxoplasmosis, an infectious parasitic disease that may be spread to humans and wildlife through cat feces and which has been linked to deaths in endangered Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) and Hawaiian monk seals. A report prepared for the Hawai‘i Department of Health in 2000 suggested that feral cats are the “highest collective risk factor [for toxoplasmosis] and require further attention and action from a ‘holistic public health perspective.’”

Top photo: Hawaiian Common Gallinule and chicks. Photo by Hob Osterlund.

Bottom photo: Remote camera image of feral cat preying on Hawaiian Common Gallinule nest, April 22, 2017. Cameras were installed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in partnership with ABC and are run by B. Webber.

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American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

 

A couple of long-disused buildings in the Florida Keys that once sheltered servicemen from missile launches have been sheltering something else – pythons. 

Four large crawlers – one, a female, was nearly 16 feet long – turned up within the last month at an old missile base at Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) reported. 

Scientists think the snakes migrated from the Everglades, a fertile breeding ground for the unwanted predators. Now, officials say, the snakes may be poised to head south, where several Keys species are defenseless against the large, invasive reptiles. 

Compounding their concerns: Officials this past summer also discovered some hatchling pythons near Key Largo – a strong indication that the snakes have found a welcome habitat and are multiplying. 

The latest unwanted snakes turned up in a couple of old bunkers where the U.S. military once had a Nike Hercules missile firing range. The site, closed 30 years ago, is now part of the 6,500-acre Crocodile Lake refuge. Searchers using trackers and specially trained dogs sniffed out the snakes, said Jeremy Dixon, who manages Crocodile Lake. 

“Snakes like deep, dark places,” he said. 

They also like black rats, which likely attracted them to the site, Dixon said. The area also is home to hundreds of feral cats, another potential food source. 

The easy availability of food, said Dixon, means the pythons could thrive on the Keys just as easily as they have multiplied in the Everglades. For more than two decades, an array of big snakes have spread and bred in the Everglades. Their presence has had a devastating effect on native birds, deer and other species in the park. Some snakes have even managed to devour alligators. 

The Florida Wildlife Fish and Wildlife Commission is working with the University of Florida to detect and remove the snakes in the Keys. They are partnering with the Irulas, members of a tribal community from India that’s renowned for its ability to catch snakes.  Learn more about those programs

If you need to report a python, dial the Exotic Species Reporting Hotline: 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681).

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https://www.gofundme.com/cat-haven-rescue-inc
Land O’ Lakes FL, January 6, 2017: Cat Haven Rescue Inc. was established June 1st, 2014. Our main goal is to find forever homes for abandoned cats and kittens in the Tampa Bay Area. Cat Haven Rescue relies on a small network of fosters. We are a no-kill rescue that has taken in hundreds of cats and kittens,including many off euthanasia lists from other organizations.
We are NOT government funded, and all of our funds come from generous and kind people who donate to our rescue. Our funds go 100% to the care of our kitties for their basic health and wellness needs. It covers food, litter, beds & blankets, toys, and other cat necessities. Donations also cover unforeseen medical bills and medications for any of our sick cats and kittens.
We are in desperate need of donations! Currently, we have around 300 cats and kittens that need to find their forever homes, not to mention the cats we keep for life that are considered "unadoptable". We also care for numerous feral cat colonies in Tampa daily.
This past year has been incredibly difficult on our little rescue. Adoptions have been slow for months. We are down to a single adoption location at the Wesley Chapel Petco (on Bruce B. Downs). Any donation, no matter what the amount will make a huge difference in the lives of our amazing cats. Thank you for your consideration.

Cat Haven Rescue is where Jon Patch adopted Winter who you can watch during the Facebook live airings of Talkin' Pets @talkinpetradio

 

 

 

Local events listed at: NationalFeralCatDay.org/actions

 

BETHESDA, Md., USA – Oct. 10, 2016 – Cat advocates have scheduled over 1,000 events worldwide to join Alley Cat Allies in celebrating the 16th anniversary of National Feral Cat Day on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. Inspired by this year’s theme, “All Cats All Communities,” supporters from around the world are advocating for the lives of cats and educating their communities about humane policies, like Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), that help save cats’ lives and protect all cats in all communities.

“For more than 26 years, Alley Cat Allies has been leading the movement to protect and improve the lives of cats everywhere, and this year’s National Feral Cat Day theme reflects that,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “From the pet cats in your home to the outdoor cats in communities around the world, all cats deserve our care and protection. Together, we are creating change that saves their lives.”

A full listing of events in local communities is located atNationalFeralCatDay.org/actions. Supporters worldwide have organized more events this year than any in the 16-year history of National Feral Cat Day. Volunteers in every corner of the world are holding spay/neuter clinics and food and supply drives, arranging educational sessions, hosting adoption events, encouraging official governmental proclamations, and raising funds to support local TNR programs.

Even if you have just five minutes available, there is still time to get involved and help raise awareness about the issues that impact all cats. Visit NationalFeralCatDay.org/ideas to see simple suggestions such as signing a pledge to protect the lives of cats, sharing a selfie on social media to display your National Feral Cat Day pride, or reading a newsletter. Visit www.NationalFeralCatDay.org/gear and find educational materials to inform others, and gear to show off your National Feral Cat Day pride.

Alley Cat Allies, the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the humane treatment of cats, launched National Feral Cat Day 2001 as a call to action to raise awareness about community cats, promote TNR as the only effective method of stabilizing cat populations, and empower and mobilize the millions of compassionate Americans who care about cats everywhere.

Follow all the activities for National Feral Cat Day on social media with the #feralcatday hashtag.

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About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 600,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

 

 

Widespread Contamination Also Affects Humans and Other Wildlife
 

(Washington, D.C., June 2, 2016)A new study published in theJournal of Wildlife Diseaseshas documented evidence of “widespread contamination of habitat” in Hawai‘i caused by feral cats. This latest research has alarming implications for the endangered Hawaiian Goose (Nēnē) and other animals found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

The peer-reviewedstudy, conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee, and the state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, evaluated the prevalence of infection withToxoplasma gondiiamong Nēnē, Hawai‘i’s state bird.T. gondiiis a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in humans and wildlife and is the “most-commonly encountered infectious disease” in Nēnē, the study reports.T. gondiirelies on cats to complete its life cycle and is excreted into the environment through cat feces. A single cat may excrete hundreds of millions of infectious eggs (called “oocysts”) in its feces.

The study found between 21 and 48 percent of Nēnē tested positive for past infection, depending on the island. The island of Moloka‘i had the highest infection rate (48 percent), followed by 23 percent on Maui and 21 percent on Kaua‘i. According to the authors, the higher rate on Moloka‘i may have been due to “a conspicuously consistent presence of feral cats.”

“This research confirms earlier studies dating from the 1970s that this parasite is probably found in tropical island ecosystems wherever there are feral cats,” said Dr. Thierry Work, the study’s lead author. “Recent studies also suggest that animals and humans are more prone to trauma when infected withT. gondii. Trauma is the chief cause of death for Nēnē, and infections withT. gondiimay be making them more vulnerable, but confirming that will require additional studies.”

Nēnē are not the only Hawaiian wildlife to test positive forT. gondii. Other birds, such as the endangered Hawaiian Crow (‘Alalā), and mammals, such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, are also susceptible and have died from infection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in response to increasing seal deaths, elevated toxoplasmosis to a disease of “serious concern.” According to the Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan, NOAA is concerned both with seal deaths and “the secondary and cumulative impacts of subclinical or chronic disease.”

Visitors to and residents of Hawai‘i are also at risk from toxoplasmosis. Ingestion or inhalation of cat-transmitted oocysts may result in miscarriages, fetal abnormalities, blindness, memory loss, or death. A 2011studyfound that nearly 80 percent of sampled mothers of congenitally infected infants (those infected byT. gondiiin the womb) contracted their infections as a result of environmental contamination from cat feces.

A 2013studyby scientists from the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University also called attention to cats as the means of transmission to people. “Because cats are now so ubiquitous in the environment, one may become infected [withT. gondii] by neighboring cats which defecate in one’s garden or play area, or by playing in public areas such as parks or school grounds,” the study said.  “Indeed, as cats increasingly contaminate public areas with T. gondii oocysts, it will become progressively more difficult to avoid exposure.”

As well as spreading disease, cats are also a non-native predator that directly kill native wildlife in Hawai‘i and on islands around the world. In Hawai‘i, already known as the bird extinction capital of the world, feral cats kill endangered Hawaiian Petrels (‘Ua‘u), Newell’s Shearwaters (‘A‘o), and Palila, among others. A 2011studyrecorded feral cat impacts on at least 120 different islands worldwide and determined that feral cats are responsible for at least 14 percent of global bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions.

“While we appreciate cats as pets and acknowledge the important role pet cats play in many people’s lives, it is clear that the continued presence of feral cats in our parks and neighborhoods is having detrimental impacts on people and wildlife,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at American Bird Conservancy. “Before another species goes extinct or another person is affected by toxoplasmosis, we need to acknowledge the severity of the problem and take decisive actions to resolve it. What is required is responsible pet ownership and the effective removal of free-roaming feral cats from the landscape.”

Image: Endangered Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo by Jack Jeffrey.

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American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

 

Maintaining Feral Cat Colonies at Jones Beach Puts Piping Plovers at Risk

Piping Plover and chick_Michael Stubblefield_U PR

ABC's lawsuit asserts that Endangered Piping Plovers are at risk from feral cats at Jones Beach State Park, New York. Photo © Michael Stubblefield

Contact:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., ABC Director of Invasive Species Programs, 202-888-7480

(Washington, D.C. March 31, 2016)American Bird Conservancy (ABC) today filed suit in federal court against the New York Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (Parks Office) over the continued presence of feral cat colonies at Jones Beach State Park. The colonies exist in close proximity to the nesting sites ofPiping Plovers, a species listed as "Threatened" in the Atlantic Coast region under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). New York State’s own Endangered Species Act lists the species as “Endangered.”

In a March 17, 2015 letter to ABC, the Parks Office acknowledged the presence of feral cats at Jones Beach and agreed that "our goal should be the removal of feral cats within New York State Parks." Yet no significant action has been taken. “The endangered plovers are already arriving for the 2016 breeding season and are being placed at an unacceptable risk," said Grant Sizemore, Director of ABC’sInvasive Species Programs.

ABC's complaint seeks an injunction to require that the Parks Office remove the feral cats from Jones Beach and follows a Notice of Intent to Sue submitted on Dec. 1, 2015.

“We regret that legal action is our only recourse,” said Mike Parr, ABC's Chief Conservation Officer. “We would far prefer to settle this out of court.” He added, “The park has placed ‘no pets’ signs at its parking lots, yet allows cats to be fed in the same areas. It makes no sense to prevent one but allow the other.”

The State has long accommodated multiple feral cat colonies at Jones Beach in spite of the known risks to Piping Plovers. The Parks Office has allowed structures to be built to house the cats, and it permits local residents to feed them routinely.

In 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) identified feral cats as a threat to Piping Plovers in the species’ Atlantic Coast range, which includes Jones Beach. As FWS stated in itsreport, “Recent research and reports indicate that predation poses a continuing (and perhaps intensifying) threat to Atlantic Coast Piping Plovers.”

Piping Plover chicks_Venu Challa_PR

Plover chicks are especially vulnerable to predation before they are able to fly. Photo by Venu Challa

The FWS recognized that Piping Plovers are especially vulnerable to feral cats. Adult birds often feign a broken wing to distract predators, putting them at high risk of predation from non-native species. Plover chicks also move around the beach for approximately 25 days before they are able to fly, during which time they are especially vulnerable to cats.

Although many cats are beloved pets, free-roaming and feral cats are non-native predators that kill approximately2.4 billion birdsannually in the U.S.  A single feral cat can kill, on average, from 20 to 55 birds a year. Responding to this threat, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last yearvetoedlegislation that would have supported “Trap, Neuter, Release” programs that support feral cat colonies, citing the impacts these cats can have “on wildlife, including on threatened and endangered species, habitats, and food sources for native predators.”

“Feeding feral cats, as happens at Jones Beach, does not eliminate their instinct to hunt,” said Sizemore. “And in fact, the mere presence of cats has been shown to have significant adverse effects on breeding birds. Even when cats do not directly kill wildlife, they disrupt nesting and feeding behaviors.” One 2013 studyshowed as much as a 33 percent reduction in feeding of nestlings after cats made even a brief appearance near breeding areas.

American Bird Conservancy is being represented byGoodwin Procter LLPon a pro bono basis.

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American Bird Conservancy is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist—the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.  With a focus on efficiency and working in partnership, we take on the toughest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on sound science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation.

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