Wednesday, June 18, 2008

San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication plan

Early June 4 I sent the announcement of the newly released Environmental Assessment for San Nicolas Island Seabird Restoration Project and opportunity for public comments to feral cat leaders and others. See also my 2005 alert on this blog for the first public comment opportunity regarding the San Nicolas Island feral cat eradication project in the Draft Montrose Restoration Plan: Primary and compensatory restoration.

A news article was published in the Ventura County Star on June 5, Feral cats may be eliminated from San Nicolas Island, followed on June 6 by Biologists want island cats killed in which the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) criticized the plan. An action alert dated June 13 came out from Born Free / Animal Protection Institute (API.) Other alerts were from PETA, who unfortunately advocated more-humane but still killing and Alley Cat Allies (ACA,) the national nonprofit dedicated to ending the killing of cats. Animal People News included an article in the June 2008 issue (not yet online.)

The comment period for the EA closed June 17. Finally completed and sent my comments early that afternoon. I urged a redirection to nonlethal and nontoxic solutions for all locations and all species, pointed out inadequacies and inaccuracies in the San Nicolas Island EA and proposed feral cat killing plan, and suggested the alternatives of exclusion and containment fencing in conjunction with trap-neuter-return (TNR.)

This morning comments submitted by Alley Cat Allies were available to download and I received the comments submitted jointly by the HSUS Feral Cat Program and Wildlife and Habitat Programs. ACA and HSUS provided excellent responses to the San Nicolas Island EA content and plan for feral cat eradication. The HSUS has proposed a cooperative program with the USFWS -- a wonderful nonlethal action plan and offer of assistance including trap-neuter-return of the SNI feral cats.

Examples of a few innovative and successful partnerships between feral cat and wildlife groups have long been listed and promoted on the sidebar of this blog, and on Cat Management in Communities under the TNR and Wildlife section.