Feral Free-ranging Cats on Maui: Addressing Conflicts with Wildlife & Conflicts with Human Health  Fern P. Duvall II,  Ph....
This slide show contains some graphic images.
Feral and Free Ranging Cats  and  Conflict with Maui Nui Wildlife
My Goal:  Inform you about feral free-ranging cats and the threat they pose to Hawaii’s native birds.
What is a feral cat?
Feral cats are unowned , free-ranging, untamed cats separated from domestication. Feral cats may be born in the wild and n...
What is a stray cat?   Stray cats are cats that have lived with humans and have become lost or they have HAD owners who il...
Stray cats that  have  acclimated  to the wild, and survived,  can often be mistaken for feral cats, as their behaviors ha...
A stray cat may or may not have acclimated to life in the “wild”. Cats that do not acclimate are often found starving and ...
Cats and pets could be blinded by Little Fire Ant stings if the newly found ants become firmly established.  Cat blinded b...
Feral Cats Lead Harsh Lives <ul><li>Malnutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Disease </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma  </li></ul><ul><li>Hig...
In Maui Nui feral free-ranging cats have become a public nuisance
And as excellent hunters,  feral and free-ranging cats are one of the greatest  threats to our native Hawaiian birds.
So what’s the problem with feral and free-ranging cats?  <ul><li>Skilled hunters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obligate Carnivores...
<ul><li>Department of Land and Natural Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Division of Forestry and Wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Rol...
Cats are excellent hunters.
<ul><li>And kill even when well fed pets, or spayed/neutered and released. </li></ul>
Warning:  Graphic Pictures Ahead
<ul><li>Feral cats have decimated wild species in places like the Galapagos, Pacific Mexico, and here in Hawaii  </li></ul...
<ul><li>“ On Lanai in walking up a single ravine, I counted the remains of no less than twenty-two native birds killed by ...
<ul><li>Female kittens can become pregnant at 5 months </li></ul><ul><li>Male kittens can impregnate at 4-6 months </li></...
In Hawaii an unspayed female cat, her mate, and all of their offspring producing 2 litters per year with 2.8 surviving kit...
Take a moment to think about that.
<ul><li>On Maui Island alone, feral free-ranging cats are estimated to number approximately  300,000-400,000  animals. </l...
That means that for every 1 resident on Maui Island there are more than 2 feral  free-ranging cats AND the number of cats ...
<ul><li>Maui Island is  not  alone </li></ul><ul><li>Feral and free ranging cats are quickly becoming a problem Statewide ...
<ul><li>“ We have a terrible feral cat problem,” said Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford, who spent more than $10,000 of county...
Feral cat feeding station, Borders Book Store, Kona, Hawaii “ Hundreds of thousands of feral cats could be roaming the Big...
<ul><li>Most feral cat colony caretakers are well meaning people who think they are doing the right thing. </li></ul><ul><...
Although well meaning, most cat colony caretakers may misunderstand, minimize, or choose to ignore the documented concerns...
Hawaii is the most isolated land mass on Earth … What I want you to remember
<ul><li>The species that evolved here are unique and can be found nowhere else in the world.  </li></ul>
Feral and even Pet free-ranging cats pose an enormous threat to our native species.
Especially our birds… Wedge-tailed Shearwaters killed by feral cats on the island of Maui
 
<ul><li>“ Last night, around 1 in the morning, I was woken up by a lot of strange noises coming from downstairs. I couldn'...
<ul><li>Our seabirds, waterbirds, shorebirds and forest birds are all in danger.  </li></ul>Leg bands in cat feces
Wedge-tailed Shearwater colonies on all islands are facing tremendous pressure from feral and free ranging cats
Entire breeding colonies on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai have been decimated by these introduced non-native predators.
<ul><li>Wedge-tailed Shearwaters   </li></ul><ul><li>•  Long-lived seabird(40 yrs) </li></ul><ul><li>•  Come to land once ...
Warning:  Graphic Pictures
Feral and free ranging cats are  EATING  our birds.
 
Our Endangered Species are also at Risk.
The Lana`ihale Project   <ul><li>Staff work to protect one of the largest known colonies of Endangered Hawaiian Petrels or...
Tragedy  in our most pristine mountains.
Hawaiian Petrel adult – Cat killed bird
An `Ua`u (Hawaiian Petrel) that was depredated by a feral cat on remotest Mauna Loa, Hawai`i.  It is possible that all Haw...
A complete mandible of a young `U`au (Hawaiian Petrel) found in feral cat stomach from Mauna Loa in Hawaii Volcanoes Natio...
All it takes is one cat At the right place At the right time… To cause irreparable harm.
Fledgling Hawaiian Petrel at its burrow in Haleakala National Park
 
 
 
Our Hawaiian birds  are   in  danger.
These introduced non-native killers are at their door
If you don’t want to  have to go  to the Bishop Museum to look at Maui’s native birds, then you must  act  now.
Before it’s too late.
Feeding of feral and free ranging cats not only bolsters cat numbers, but also attracts mongoose and other introduced pred...
We can’t keep looking the other way.
We must act now, as we are the only voice for our truly irreplaceable native, threatened, and endangered species.
<ul><li>- Steven C. Hess, Paul Banko, Chris Farmer of USGS- Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>-N...
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Feral Free-Ranging Cats on Maui

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Feral Free-ranging Cats on Maui: Addressing Conflicts with Wildlife and Conflicts with Human Health

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  • Feral cats are unowned and untamed cats separated from domestication. Feral cats may be born in the wild and never socialized, or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild.
  • Stray cats that have acclimated and survived can often be mistaken for feral cats, as their behaviors have adjusted in order to survive, leading them to run from humans, avoid touch and hide to protect themselves.
  • Feral Free-Ranging Cats on Maui

    1. 1. Feral Free-ranging Cats on Maui: Addressing Conflicts with Wildlife & Conflicts with Human Health Fern P. Duvall II, Ph.D., Wildlife Biologist, Department of Land & Natural Resources, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Maui District and Lorrin W. Pang, MD., M.P.H., District Health Officer Department of Health, Maui District
    2. 2. This slide show contains some graphic images.
    3. 3. Feral and Free Ranging Cats and Conflict with Maui Nui Wildlife
    4. 4. My Goal: Inform you about feral free-ranging cats and the threat they pose to Hawaii’s native birds.
    5. 5. What is a feral cat?
    6. 6. Feral cats are unowned , free-ranging, untamed cats separated from domestication. Feral cats may be born in the wild and never socialized, or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild. MORE NUMEROUS THAN STRAY CATS – THEY RANGE THE WHOLE ISLAND
    7. 7. What is a stray cat? Stray cats are cats that have lived with humans and have become lost or they have HAD owners who illegally abandoned their animals.
    8. 8. Stray cats that have acclimated to the wild, and survived, can often be mistaken for feral cats, as their behaviors have adjusted in order to survive, leading them to run from humans, avoid touch and hide to protect themselves.
    9. 9. A stray cat may or may not have acclimated to life in the “wild”. Cats that do not acclimate are often found starving and ill – colony life is not really safe for ANY cats. And OTHER new issues just arrived here on Maui …
    10. 10. Cats and pets could be blinded by Little Fire Ant stings if the newly found ants become firmly established. Cat blinded by stings to eyes
    11. 11. Feral Cats Lead Harsh Lives <ul><li>Malnutrition </li></ul><ul><li>Disease </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma </li></ul><ul><li>High Kitten Mortality </li></ul>
    12. 12. In Maui Nui feral free-ranging cats have become a public nuisance
    13. 13. And as excellent hunters, feral and free-ranging cats are one of the greatest threats to our native Hawaiian birds.
    14. 14. So what’s the problem with feral and free-ranging cats? <ul><li>Skilled hunters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Obligate Carnivores </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunistic Killers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High reproductive rates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity for exponential population growth </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduced predators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Native species are often unaccustomed to cats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and do not avoid them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spread diseases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Toxoplasmosis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feline AIDS & Leukemia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cat Scratch Fever </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Public Nuisance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Loud Nocturnal Mating Calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scent Marking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feces </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Department of Land and Natural Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Division of Forestry and Wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Role and Responsibilities with regard to domestic cats </li></ul><ul><li>Land and Wildlife Management – on approx. 1,000,000 acres of wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Reserves, Natural Area Reserves, Wildlife and Plant Sanctuaries, Game Management Areas, Partnership Areas </li></ul><ul><li>consisting of montane forests, coastal areas and offshore islets, wetlands, alpine areas, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory and Enforcement - Wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters 183D and 195D, Hawaii Revised Statutes prohibit take of birds and native species </li></ul><ul><li>Hawaii Administrative Rules for management of Division lands and protection of native species </li></ul><ul><li>Responsible to protect and recover all native and T&E species statewide </li></ul>
    16. 16. Cats are excellent hunters.
    17. 17. <ul><li>And kill even when well fed pets, or spayed/neutered and released. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Warning: Graphic Pictures Ahead
    19. 19. <ul><li>Feral cats have decimated wild species in places like the Galapagos, Pacific Mexico, and here in Hawaii </li></ul>Endangered Hawaiian Palila nest with remains of young birds killed by a feral cat, Big Island It is NOT only a new problem… Palila adult
    20. 20. <ul><li>“ On Lanai in walking up a single ravine, I counted the remains of no less than twenty-two native birds killed by cats, and these must all have been destroyed within two days as previously the whole gulch had been washed out by a heavy flood.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… owing to the fact that they [cats] are extremely shy and mostly nocturnal in habits, few people who have not lived much in the woods have any idea of their numbers.” -R.C.L. Perkins, 1903 </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Female kittens can become pregnant at 5 months </li></ul><ul><li>Male kittens can impregnate at 4-6 months </li></ul><ul><li>Female cats have an average of five (5) kittens per litter and can produce on average, three litters per year </li></ul><ul><li>Female cats can also get pregnant again when they are nursing.      </li></ul>Cats are a highly fecund species
    22. 22. In Hawaii an unspayed female cat, her mate, and all of their offspring producing 2 litters per year with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter can total: 1 year = 12 2 years = 67 3 years = 376 4 years=2,107 5 years= 11,801 6 years= 66,088 7 years= 370,092 8 years= 2,072,514 9 years= 11,606,077
    23. 23. Take a moment to think about that.
    24. 24. <ul><li>On Maui Island alone, feral free-ranging cats are estimated to number approximately 300,000-400,000 animals. </li></ul>
    25. 25. That means that for every 1 resident on Maui Island there are more than 2 feral free-ranging cats AND the number of cats getting neutered/spayed, is currently at less than 1 percent. This DOES NOT affect the population’s growth.
    26. 26. <ul><li>Maui Island is not alone </li></ul><ul><li>Feral and free ranging cats are quickly becoming a problem Statewide </li></ul><ul><li>Cat colonies have become the norm in most areas causing cat populations to skyrocket </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>“ We have a terrible feral cat problem,” said Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford, who spent more than $10,000 of county money last year to help control the feral cat population. &quot;You have all these scrawny, sickly cats around commercial areas and hotels. It's just a bad situation.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>- Honolulu Star Bulletin, Tuesday-March 25, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Feral cats are everywhere on Maui,” said MHS CEO Jocelyn Bouchard. “We all need to realize the choice is no longer whether or not to have cats in your neighborhood; the choice is whether the cats residing around your business or home are managed or unmanaged”. … “According to Bouchard, there are hundreds of feral cat colonies located across the island, and population sizes vary according to the size of the area they inhabit”. - Maui Weekly 9/3/2009 </li></ul>THE PROBLEM WITH CATS IS SEVERE and OBVIOUS…
    28. 28. Feral cat feeding station, Borders Book Store, Kona, Hawaii “ Hundreds of thousands of feral cats could be roaming the Big Island, from beaches to higher elevations, and as many as 10 percent of those animals could be carrying infectious diseases like feline leukemia and feline AIDS” - Josi Morgan, director of the Hawaii Island Humane Society West Hawaii Today, Sunday, March 23, 2008
    29. 29. <ul><li>Most feral cat colony caretakers are well meaning people who think they are doing the right thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Common Goals? </li></ul><ul><li>YES. </li></ul><ul><li>Humane treatment of cats </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce or eliminate the need to control cats </li></ul>
    30. 30. Although well meaning, most cat colony caretakers may misunderstand, minimize, or choose to ignore the documented concerns regarding the ecological, domestic animal, public health, humane, and social nuisance impacts of feral free-ranging cats.
    31. 31. Hawaii is the most isolated land mass on Earth … What I want you to remember
    32. 32. <ul><li>The species that evolved here are unique and can be found nowhere else in the world. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Feral and even Pet free-ranging cats pose an enormous threat to our native species.
    34. 34. Especially our birds… Wedge-tailed Shearwaters killed by feral cats on the island of Maui
    35. 36. <ul><li>“ Last night, around 1 in the morning, I was woken up by a lot of strange noises coming from downstairs. I couldn't quite place the noises, but there were definitely animals involved. I scraped myself out of bed and went to take a look. It turns out that my cat had brought home a playmate - a Kolea.” </li></ul>Posted on September 13, 2006 at 5:03 PM by Mike Dunford, a Zoology graduate student, on his blog IT HAPPENS TO NATIVE BIRDS EVEN IN OUR YARDS .
    36. 37. <ul><li>Our seabirds, waterbirds, shorebirds and forest birds are all in danger. </li></ul>Leg bands in cat feces
    37. 38. Wedge-tailed Shearwater colonies on all islands are facing tremendous pressure from feral and free ranging cats
    38. 39. Entire breeding colonies on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai have been decimated by these introduced non-native predators.
    39. 40. <ul><li>Wedge-tailed Shearwaters </li></ul><ul><li>• Long-lived seabird(40 yrs) </li></ul><ul><li>• Come to land once a year to breed nesting along the coasts of the Main Hawaiian Islands </li></ul><ul><li>• Monogamous species that form long-term pair bonds </li></ul><ul><li>• Lay only one egg and raise one chick per year, it takes SEVEN years for the birds to mature and start to breed. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes both parents to raise the chick – loss of one is often fatal to the chick. </li></ul>
    40. 41. Warning: Graphic Pictures
    41. 42. Feral and free ranging cats are EATING our birds.
    42. 44. Our Endangered Species are also at Risk.
    43. 45. The Lana`ihale Project <ul><li>Staff work to protect one of the largest known colonies of Endangered Hawaiian Petrels or `Ua`u in the State </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor individual Petrel burrows during the breeding season to determine success of egg laying, hatching and chick fledging </li></ul><ul><li>Have SADLY documented repeated feral cat predation at the colony </li></ul>
    44. 46. Tragedy in our most pristine mountains.
    45. 47. Hawaiian Petrel adult – Cat killed bird
    46. 48. An `Ua`u (Hawaiian Petrel) that was depredated by a feral cat on remotest Mauna Loa, Hawai`i. It is possible that all Hawai`i `Ua`u will soon be extirpated if predation continues at the present levels Credit: Fredrick R. Warshauer
    47. 49. A complete mandible of a young `U`au (Hawaiian Petrel) found in feral cat stomach from Mauna Loa in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    48. 50. All it takes is one cat At the right place At the right time… To cause irreparable harm.
    49. 51. Fledgling Hawaiian Petrel at its burrow in Haleakala National Park
    50. 55. Our Hawaiian birds are in danger.
    51. 56. These introduced non-native killers are at their door
    52. 57. If you don’t want to have to go to the Bishop Museum to look at Maui’s native birds, then you must act now.
    53. 58. Before it’s too late.
    54. 59. Feeding of feral and free ranging cats not only bolsters cat numbers, but also attracts mongoose and other introduced predators to an area. It often concentrates cats near native wildlife habitat at very high densities.
    55. 60. We can’t keep looking the other way.
    56. 61. We must act now, as we are the only voice for our truly irreplaceable native, threatened, and endangered species.
    57. 62. <ul><li>- Steven C. Hess, Paul Banko, Chris Farmer of USGS- Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center </li></ul><ul><li>-Norma Bustos, Hawaii Division of Forestry & Wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>-Chris Lepczyk, University of Hawaii at Manoa </li></ul><ul><li>-Lana`ihale Endangered Seabird Project Staff </li></ul><ul><li>And.. </li></ul><ul><li>-FLICKR and all the tourists who took pictures of feral cats while on vacation in Hawaii </li></ul>Mahalo NOW to Dr. Lorrin Pang and Feral Free-ranging Cats and Human Health Concerns

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