Cape May, New Jersey is arguably one of the top 12 places to bird in the U.S. (According to Roger Tory Peterson). But the birding there might not stay that way with a new amendment from the Cape May city council to continue to allow feral cats to roam freely. The Birdchaser poses the question should birders Boycott Cape May? A DC Birding Blog brings up some wonderful questions about Cape May’s decision. Plus, here’s more about Cape May’s Feral Problem from Windstar Wildlife Institute.
Our stand is firm on feral cats: they don’t belong in the natural environment and they should not be allowed to run freely adding damage to the environment. Sadly, the people that support programs promoting feral cats claim to be “cat lovers” yet this very action is contradictory to their self proclamation. A true cat lover wouldn’t want cats living the lifestyle of a feral. The New York State Humane Society has more information on the dismal lives of ferals.
Every time an article comes up about feral cats, it is a big debate against us crazy “bird lovers” who “hate cats”. (See Feral Cats and Jim Stevenson). Why are there so many people defending these cats and their “right to be outdoors”?
Since all cats returned to the outdoors are neutered, he said cat colonies were decreasing in size and would continue to do so as cats died off due to old age. –Cape May County Herald
Is this a humane lifestyle for cats? To dodge cars and predators, battle disease and cat-fights in their struggle to live day-to-day on the streets? The majority of feral cats don’t even make it to old age.
So as birders, we ALL need to unite on this issue and all conservation matters. If this type of activity is allowed in Cape May, a place known worldwide to birders, what about all the other thousands of towns across the U.S. Do birds really need more obstacles in their lives?
Notice: We are not anti-cat as we are cat owners ourselves. This isn’t a debate on whether or not feral cats are part of the natural ecosystem; they are not.