Feral Cats on San Nicolas Island Face Death

U.S. Fish and Wildlife proposal seeks to euthanize cats to protect seabirds.

By Soraya Gutierrez | Posted: June 24, 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Feral Cats on San Nicolas Island Face Death

Feral cats are the target of a plan crafted by federal wildlife biologists to protect wildlife.

Feral cats are the target of a plan crafted by federal wildlife biologists to protect San Nicolas Island wildlife from extinction. The proposal calls for the use of padded leg traps and hunters to kill all wild cats on the Navy-owned land, about 60 miles off Southern California in the Channel Islands.

The island’s 100 to 200 feral cats would be shot or given a lethal injection, according to the plan. The eradication of the felines would restore the seabird population and improve the quality of habitat for native wildlife.

Animal rights organizations oppose the plan and favor other methods for capturing the feral cats, including trap-neuter-return. TNR, however, is not an option on San Nicolas Island because in order to protect native wildlife, Navy policy prohibits the TNR practice on its property.

Specialized dogs also will be used to track the cats on the island. Professional hunters will use non-lead ammunition to kill the wild cats, the plan states. The removal of cats is expected to take one year.

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Reader Comments

Linda    Torrington, WY

6/28/2009 12:53:33 PM

With all the land in the country and ways to trap the animals humanely, why can't they be taken elsewhere to a place where they would not be in the way but still trap, neuter and release and let them live in peace. The only thing I could agree with is to euthanize the ones that are so sick or hurt that there is no helping them. Feral cats have colonies and can be perfectly happy and still keep the mice populations down. Sort of reminds me of the killing of the wild horses here in Wyoming.

Regina    Germantown, MD

8/13/2008 12:14:15 PM

This just plain disgusts me. How can they go around killing homeless cats for some birds? Look around! Birds are everywhere, living happily, and cats homeless are being killed for them. They should actually try to relocate them rather than absentmindedly terminate them. Think about it people. Cats have lives to, and they are precious to some people. It sickens me

Sam    Camarillo, CA

7/22/2008 2:42:21 PM

Wow read the whole story people - These are not stray cats but cats that are completely wild having never been in contact with humans. While killing things just for the heck of it is wrong this is not the case - We should applaud the gov't for taking steps to reduce and correct negative impacts man has made on the environment - especially without using taxpayer dollars. If it were a feral cockroach no one would ever care.

Lillian    West Burlington, IA

7/17/2008 5:31:06 PM

I think it's horrible. We have two pet cats, very loving and very much loved by us. Whenever I see an article about killing cats for food, or killing them because they pose some sort of threat, it infuriates me. There are stray cats in our neighborhood, only because somebody couldn't be bothered to care for them as they should. I have found homes for some of them, and have seen some of them been hurt, suffer and die; they're too afraid to turn to anyone for help, so they run off into the woods to be left alone. This article sounds like the work of some bloodthirsty sadists.

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