New Zealand is the last refuge of a huge range of bird species, we’re famous for our claim to be clean and green, and some of us have recognised the huge economic benefit, let alone the ecological dividend, from achieving a Predator Free New Zealand.
But the vision is flawed. Almost half of Kiwi households have a cat (or two) making New Zealanders the world’s biggest cat owners 1.. Cats are incredibly effective hunters and are wiping out our native birds.
If you are reading this there is a good chance that you are a cat owner and you are probably upset at the thought of getting rid of your beloved pet. Before you fly into a rage, have a read of some of the facts below and get educated on why cats need to go.
Straight to the Facts
Kiwis own the most cats per capita with 1.4 mil cats in New Zealand 2. – TWEET THIS FACT
Cats have contributed to the extinction of 9 native bird species 3.
Cats impact on 33 endangered native bird species 4.
One feral cat killed 102 endangered native short tail bats in a week 5.
Cats kill native birds. In our cities domestic cats kill native birds faster than they can possibly breed 6.
Around 40% of New Zealand’s native land-birds are already extinct, and of the ones remaining 37% are endangered. 7.
3.Medina, F.M et al. A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates. Global Change Biology (2011), doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02464.x
4.Medina, F.M et al. A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates. Global Change Biology (2011), doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02464.x
6. van Heezik, Y. et al Do domestic cats impose an unsustainable harvest on urban bird populations? Biological Conservation 143 (2010) 121–130
7. Miskelly, C.M. et al. Conservation status of New Zealand birds, 2008. Notornis, 2008, Vol. 55: 117-135 0029-4470 © The Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Inc.