Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cape May forced to choose: Cats or plovers

City officials may have to choose between endangered beach-nesting shorebirds or the feral cats that have found a loving home here.
That was the choice presented to City Council on Monday afternoon by City Manager Lou Corea.

The issue, according to Corea, has arisen because the federal government does not want the city to support feral-cat colonies anymore. The concern is that wild cats can kill shorebirds, including the endangered piping plover.

The city has an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, except wild cats. The city traditionally has supported the cats with placement of “cat shelters” around town. There is even a program, dubbed TNR, to trap, neuter and release wild cats so they can't reproduce, giving them a healthier life in the wild.

In 2003, when council approved the placement of 10 shelters around town, the city estimated there were about 500 wild cats. While people feed them, there is also plenty to eat in a town of gourmet restaurants, fishing docks and soft-hearted animal lovers.


plover lady said...

Go to:

to vote Yes to ending the program. There is an opinion poll on the home page today, 6/20, under Reader Meter.

Bird Advocate said...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Plover Lady. Any native wildlife, and especially threatened and endangered birds should always take precedence over an invasive feral pest!

birdchaser said...

Care to comment on the recent decision to continue the TNR program at Cape May?

Bird Advocate said...

It appears to me the city council buckled under the pressure from the cat enablers.