Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Do you think that feral cats endanger birds in Cape May?

Tonight's city council meeting in Cape May, N.J., did not include a resolution to the question of how to handle the feral cats in a birding hotspot along the Atlantic Flyway.

Alley Cat Allies posted an update about the meeting:

As the mayor noted, maintaining the historic seaside resort’s wide sandy beaches is essential to the economic wellbeing of the community, and he reiterated that the wildlife protection agencies have given the city an ultimatum to accept their version of the beach management plan or lose the vital beach-sand replenishment. Cape May residents were flabbergasted to find out that the city intended on voting on a final beach-management plan without making it available to the public or giving them the necessary opportunity to review it. And according to city councilman David Kurkowski, the US Fish and Wildlife Service admits that plan is “insufficient” to protect the plan’s primary focus—nesting piping plovers.

Fortunately, the city council moved to temporarily table the beach-management plan and try to find a solution that would genuinely protect the endangered shorebirds while respecting the community’s twelve-year old efforts to manage feral cats with the humane, cost-effective, and highly successful spay/neuter method. It is clear that the city council and residents of Cape May want to do the right thing and find a way both to protect the birds and to maintain the city’s place at the forefront of progressive and innovative communities. For most who attended the meeting it was difficult to understand why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NJ Department of Environmental Protection would jeopardize the economic well being of this vibrant seaside resort simply to promote a flawed beach-management plan that scapegoats cats, ignores the primary threats to the nesting plovers, and in the end would do very little to actually protect those birds.
If you'd like to share your thoughts with the city council, consider sending a comment via this site. The city council members include Mayor Jerome E. Inderwies, Deputy Mayor Niels S. Favre, Council Member David S. Craig, Council Member David C. Kurkowski and Council Member Linda Aldridge Steenrod. The next city council meeting is scheduled for March 20.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

They had better consider seriously the feral cat problem. It is a serious problem anywhere it occurs and there are solutions other than terminating the feline guys.

February 20, 2008 8:07 PM  
Blogger John B. said...

What Alley Cat Allies leaves out is that the plan that Cape May tabled was itself a compromise solution, negotiated between the town and the wildlife agencies. I'm not sure how many more concessions Cape May will be able to get.

February 21, 2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Interesting to know, John. Thanks.

February 21, 2008 12:16 PM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

How "highly successful" can the TNR program be if they have been doing it for 12 years?

February 22, 2008 7:47 PM  

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