Cat owners should take this opportunity to work with ornithologists

When reasonable and possible cat lovers should work with bird lovers on conservation.

Adult male kōkako feeding on the ground. Image © Suzi Phillips by Suzi Phillips

Adult male kōkako feeding on the ground. Image © Suzi Phillips by Suzi Phillips

Cat lovers can’t fight with ornithologists indefinitely. Some ornithologists dislike cats and I understand that. But it is unwise to allow the quiet war between cat lovers and bird lovers to rumble on indefinitely.

I am a cat lover but I see the need to work constructively together with scientists who are concerned with bird species when there is a real threat to their numbers as appears to be the case with the kōkako living in the Pirongia Forest Park in New Zealand.

The kōkako is an endangered forest bird native to North Island, New Zealand. They are extinct on South Island as I understand it. The species was reintroduced to the North Island park in July 2018.

Conservationists are asking cat owners in the area to do their bit and keep their cats inside at night to protect the birds.

This species of bird is vulnerable to cats because they spend a lot of time on the ground foraging for food.

It is reported that there are feral cats on the roads near the mountain and around 20 cats near the park where the birds were reintroduced.

There is a nearby township where I presume there are cat owners. The request is for them to control their cats and to help in bird conservation.

Waipā district councillor Clare St Pierre said that she is not anti-cat, just pro-protecting birdlife on ‘our maunga’ (meaning mountain and see in Maori).

I think it would raise the profile of cat lovers if they did their best, when there is a genuine issue, to work with bird lovers in conservation programs.

HomeCat Behaviorhunting birdsCat owners should take this opportunity to work with ornithologists

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