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Letter for Friday, July 12, 2019

Neutering feral cats is not effective

Feral cats should be controlled, and contained, or humanely euthanized, but absolutely NOT released again to roam. Neutering absolutely does NOT prevent the cats spreading toxoplasma gondii into the watersheds, because the cat parasite is spread in the cat feces. Neutering does not prevent the cats defecating.

Neutering also does not prevent the cats predating the native wildlife, which did not evolve with cats in their environment. Cats are a very recent introduction to the islands and extremely destructive, helping to drive extinctions, both by direct predation and by spreading their parasites.

I recently produced an educational documentary about the conservation efforts by the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project. Researchers have found that even a single cat can wipe out a nesting colony of seabirds. This can happen because cats can return to the colony night after night, repeatedly killing nestlings and adults in their breeding burrows. I invite you to view our documentary at bit.ly/30xNuvn.

I highly recommend you consult with a real biologist at Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project for the facts, rather than just repeating false information.

Johanna van de Woestijne, Los Altos Hills, Calif.
Source: The Garden Island

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