Making Wellington the
Natural Capital: Cats,
Rats and Other
issue – no
Progress v Environment?
“It’s crazy and ambitious, but it might
be worth a shot.”
The Pest Problem
Is this just pie-in-the-sky stuff?
We did it
Tackling the Gaps
• Cats • Populated Areas
– Stewart Island
I don’t want to shoot them!
We manage dogs, but not cats
Nature: TNR Doesn’t Work
“cats are the
mortality for US
Predator Free Stewart Island
Become a Halo Household
Conservation – no longer preserve of tree huggers, sit ins by Greenies - very mainstream now, central to our future economic well-being
The Reason increasing numbers of people around world are suffering from environmental degradation impacts of economic progress – ChinaEven Stats Depts & Treasuries realise GDP is a little narrow in terms of what it is we want – yes we want income, but not at all costs. Well-being incl. lifestyle, choices, health, education, enviro sustainabilitySo the state of our fresh water in lakes & rivers, our air, our fisheries, our biodiversity, endemic species flora and fauna are all of valueThe challenge for conservationists is developing the methods of measuring that value – only by doing this will re be able to coherently decide whether a dollar at the margin should be invested in natural or non-natural improvements in well-being. Such a framework is an anathema to many traditional conservations who protect the environment as a vocation, a calling. Clearly that has resulted in an inadequate protection from growing environmental degradation
Sir Paul Callaghan - New Zealand: the place talent wants to liveOur national challenge is monetising the value of environmental protection & enhancement – making income & jobs from it. There are a number of ways;TourismPlace where talent wants to live Intrinsic in our products – the NZ Eco Brand or Accreditation synonymous with integrity (least corrupt …), environmental standardsExporting our expertise in environmental protection and enhancement eg: DOC’s predator eradication expertise, trap and poisoning best practicesPublic health benefits from biodiversity – disease resilience, Intrinsic value of nature – people do value native fauna and flora – this isn’t always able to be expressed in a price, just as the value we ascribe to law and order or freedom isn’t. But it does manifest in our environmental laws that develop via politicians over time. Incorporating that in the valuing of material capital hasn’t gone away – we just need to improve our incorporation of this in comparative assessment of choices we make. It is no longer sufficient – given conservation is a mainstream concern now in the face of widely unacceptable degradation – to tub thump, have tree sit-ins, or get all religious about the environment. There is no credibility there – we need the frameworks to make the trade-offs, the offsets, and the intelligent choices
3 million international trips solely for bird watching every yearHigh value individuals, strong growthOf 2.6m international visitors in New Zealand:86% walk & trek11% bird watch – that is almost 300,000 peopleZealandia attracts 19,000 international visitors last year – up 25% Ulva Island has 18,000 visitors pa – through a community of 390 people
Around 40% of New Zealand’s native land-birds are already extinct, and of the ones remaining 37% are endangered. The main problems are possums, hedgehogs, cats, rats, mice and mustelids (stoats, weasels)
Eradications have been growing by a factor of ten every decade - we cleared Campbell (11,000 ha) in 2001 and now the plants and animals are regenerating. Doc is a world leader in killing stuff
More work going into new technology – traps, poisons and lures
Environmental Projects we’re into – OFS, M$M, Clean Rivers, Stewart Island Treasure, Predator Free NZ, and CatstoGo
Can’t have wandering cats – they are killers, predate our wildlife, compromise our biodiversity credentialsIn our cities domestic cats kill native birds faster than they can possibly breedConfined cats are fine, just as some people have pet rats – very intelligent animals. BTW pet cats can control mice and rats if that’s the owner’s preferred method – others use mouse traps and poison baitSome of the dumbest things we hear are “my cats doesn’t kill birds”, “my cat only mice and rats”.
Needs to take responsibility for wandering cats. Just like with dogs they should be surrendered to the City Pound and from there if chipped returned to owner. If not and not claimed in 7 days, euthanized.Council has abrogated responsibility and this lies at heart of out of control situationSPCA receives almost 20,000 cats per year in Auckland alone. How can they say we don’t have a problem?Most places in Aussie control wandering cats, if cat is chipped it is returned to owner, otherwisethey simply euthanize them. 20% reduction in cat numbers since 1994MORE DETAIL IN CASE ASKED:Why is New Zealand so far behind its Aussie neighbours when it comes to cat control legislation? Most main cities and towns in Australia have cat curfews of various sorts, and/or other types of legislation aimed at protecting native wildlife, and reducing the nuisance, feces, disease spreading etc of cats. Among these are: MELBOURNE: most districts have dusk-to-dawn curfew, while an increasing number are imposing 24 hour curfew. By law, cats must be registered and microchipped. SYDNEY: dusk-to-dawn cat curfew in most areas. GOLD COAST: 24 hour cat curfew, with strict laws against cats trespassing on private property. DARWIN: 24 hour curfew stipulating that cats must contained on owners property at ALL times and, if taken off the property, cats must be "under effective control by owner" (leash or suitable container). Large fines are imposed on owners if cats are captured while "at large." BENDIGO: sunset-sunrise curfew. The Council provides traps to residents who notice a breach of the curfew, with stiff fines given to the offending cat owner. BALLARAT: Mandatory registration and microchipping. TASMANIA: Mandatory registration. If cats trespass on private property, land owners can trap or seize the offending cat. Fees apply if cats owners want the cat returned from a cat facility. Only registered breeders are allowed to breed cats. Before one can give away or sell a cat, it must be microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, and wormed. Under Tasmania's Cat Management Act (2009), it is strongly recommended that cat owners to keep their cats inside and to provide outside enclosures. WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Under the Cat Act (2011), all cats must be registered, microchipped, sterilised, and required to wear a tag. Fines up to $5000 apply for offenses against this Act.
Traditionally about prevention of cruelty – something we all endorse – but over-run by animal rights activists who put the right of the cat to hunt uninhibited above all other rightsThe ethics of the SPCA have been corrupted, it is misrepresenting itself to NZ public & we need to stop funding it in order to force it back to its original charter – SPCA Auckland cat coalition aims to tackle the city’s escalating stray cat population by supporting volunteer cat carers in their efforts to trap, neuter and release as many cats as possible.“For a long time I’ve been aware of the dedication of these people and concerned that we’ve done so little to help them,” says Bob Kerridge Kerridge and his fellow travellers argue TNR will over time reduce wandering cat populations. There is no evidence for this actually occurring, heaps of papers showing it’s failing incl. last week’s seminal research in Nature, the most authoritative science journal there is. Indeed they said “Cats are the single greatest source of most anthropogenic fatality of US birds and mammals”. Have lifted estimates of wildlife killed this way fourfold as a result of the research. All wandering cats originate from domestic cats. In order for Kerridge neutering policy to work it needs to neuter 80% of all wandering cats – they currently neuter less than 1%. At $80 per head it’s an expensive and totally flawed intervention. 18 Feb – STOP PRESS Nelson SPCA - The Nelson SPCA has never been part of the TNR programme as championed by some SPCAs. There are a number of SPCAs that have the same view as Nelson. We believe that to release companion animals back to the wild or to marginal care is contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Lonely Miaow – “a free-living cat cannot be a happy cat”Australian SPCA: “as a long term strategy, in most of Australia, [TNR] is difficult to recommend…”Wildbase Wildlife Hospital (Massey Uni) “We believe that TNR programme are ineffective at controlling urban cat populations and result in continued loss and suffering of urban wildlife.”
If you own a cat, confine it, neuter it – and for its own protection, chip it. Bells are only 50% effective at bestConfine your cat, or consider not replacing it when it diesYou can buy cat runsConfined cats – contrary to popular perception – are healthier – fewer accidents, less fighting, less disease.
Starting with the populated Halfmoon Bay area then proceeding to the other 95%. The two projects will be separated by a fence.
There are many places in Wellington where native wildlife are thriving, in some cases thanks to ratepayers cash, in others thanks to a lot of hard work from volunteers Zealandia for example has doubled the species of birds in the valley to 32 as well as increasing the abundance of those birds. That is still between half and a third of what was originally there.
What could Wellington be like if we enhanced the halo?Bellbirds – they should be increasing but falling away. 14 of 38 bodies returned had been killed by cats
NI Robin - slaughtered once they hop over the fence from Zealandia
Saddlebacks – very special, were almost extinct, but Zealandia having trouble getting going
we also know local cats have killed kaka, kakariki and hihi – important that you let people know if your cat does kill a banded bird
Here is a map of the pest control happening around ZealandiaYou will notice the Council does some amazing work on pest control. The gaps are on private land. You will also notice that there are no cat traps!!
The Zealandia Premium – just like school zones it can enhance your property values – understand now?
Become a halo household todayMake your back yard a haven for wildlifeWe want to help people plant the native plants and trees and learn how to trap possums and rats. If you want a halo we have to take out the predators. Otherwise what the hell are you funding Zealandia for?Cage trap cats that wander across your property & either hand in to the Pound or the Mayor until Council fulfils its role.