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This is a kereru. A fine example of the beautiful New Zealand native wood pigeon. It is a protected species, the wilful harming or killing of a kereru being a criminal offence in this country. Once sought after as a game bird, their protected status in recent years has allowed their numbers to increase and they have become a much loved visitor to domestic gardens and urban bushland whenever food sources (mostly the berries of native plants) are available.

This morning, I came upon a grisly scene on the lawn in my own back garden. A large number of feathers, which I believe to be those of a kereru, were spread over a quite large area, indicating an intense struggle between a kereru and what could only have been a stray cat (I do not own one myself). I should explain that in this country there are no lions, tigers, cougars or, in fact, any cats other than domestic moggies and and their feral progeny. The kereru is a tree bird and does not forage or roost at ground level, so I can only assume that a domestic cat has ambushed a kereru in a tree during the night, dragged it onto my backyard lawn and viciously attacked it. It must have been some struggle as these are large birds. If, by some miracle, the bird escaped, I don't imagine it would have survived the night and from the kereru's perspective that would be a merciful result.

Although I am constantly chasing stray cats from my vegetable patch which they seem to think I provide for their sole use as a lavatory, I am no cat hater. But I do believe cat owners have a civic responsibility to stop their pets from straying to where they can kill and maim wildlife and foul other people's property. There is ongoing public debate about cat control, including compulsory micro-chipping, limiting the number of cats per household, requiring most cats to be sterilised, etc, etc. Something needs to be done. The cats themselves are only doing what comes naturally to them. Cat owners need to be held responsible.
 

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Theo
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If you have feral cats there, good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you have feral cats there, good luck.
Most, if not all, of the cats that frequent urban neighborhoods seem to be pets, but one of the suggested remedial strategies is to allow the euthanising of non-microchipped cats, which should eventually reduce the feral population.
 

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Hi Keith,the Kereru is a beautiful bird alright,I just wish we were allowed to import them to Australia.I have been breeding Kakariki parrots for a few years & my plan was to send the progeny of my birds over to somebody in NZ to be released into the regions where the Kakariki is now extinct.Long story short it didn't pan out the way I wanted but I am still trying.Hope the cat that killed? the Kereru gets what's coming to it. Best wishes James.

I sincerely apologise Keith.Didn't mean to take over your post.JJ
 

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I like cats- they taste like chicken!
We have county and city ordinances about pets running loose. Like speed limits and stop signs, no one pays any attention plus there is no enforcement of these laws. We have had two or three shrubs at the corner of the house and they all died. I checked the pH and it is acceptable. I figure that dogs are the cause. We have a stray cat that likes our flower bed. If you call the animal shelter, they come out, never when the culprit is around, and maybe put out a trap.
 

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That bird looks similar to the American Pigeon, of which we have way more than is needed. If you need some of those let us know and we will be glad to share, but be aware pigeon poop is a real problem in the US. All kidding aside it is a beautiful bird.
 

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I recently learned that there are projects here and there to capture, vactimize and release male cats back into the wild. The theory being that the male cats can occupy the females without producing offspring produces a double whammy on ferral numbers. The captured females can be neutered, but it doesn't affect population much. We occasionally have a stray cat who catches one of the small birds we feed, but that's nature.

That is quite a nice looking bird, very similar to a pigeon. Our neighbor raises racing pigeons which fly over our property pretty often. And although we're maybe 80 miles from the Pacific ocean, we get occasional scrabble of seagulls that swoop and circle over the small oasis of our property.
 

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A while back someone commented on the number of birds killed by windmills, so I looked it up. Windmills kill hundreds of Thousands of birds a year, bad enough, but Cats kill hundreds of Millions of birds a year, with some estimates going well over a billion.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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I like cats. But if you could tell that a cat is feral, it would probably accomplish more by killing them. But how do you tell, unless you capture them? I think most of your bird losses are likely due to feral cats, but some by pets. One partial solution would be any domestic cats caught in a trap, levy a hefty fine on the owner. -After a fine or two, most owners will keep track of their cat. I do not think this would cure your problem, but it would at least help.
 

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I have doubts you will be able to do much to reduce the feral cat population by trapping, then euthanizing them. I'm thinking the majority, perhaps even all, of the cats caught would be domestics. Might catch a few, but I think they'll catch on fast, and avoid the traps. But, even so, I think it's worth a try. And still think cat owners should be fined.

Here is the US we have a huge feral hog problem. Probably a lot of people aren't even aware iof that. The feral hogs cause millions upon millions of crop loss every year, and can destroy a farmer's field, and crop, in a single night. There was an independent report awhile back that said that approximately 3/4 of the feral hog population was killed every year. Yay. However, they reproduce so fast that we are barely holding even. Not good at all. A few years back one of your know-it-all politicians wanted a closed hunting season on them - so they would have time to reproduce. Fortunately, someone educated him/her in time. There is no closed season here on them, if they were we would be in deep dodo. And unfortunately also, the meat is not fit for human consumption. I just hope your cat problem doesn't get worse for you.
 

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I use a "Live Trap" and drop them off a few miles down the road.... it is not a solution to the problem but helps me out.
They do that with gators, down in Florida. But when the trap on in canals, that are connected to other waterways, too often it seems the gators make their way back. In the case of gators, it would be best to move them to somewhere that the waterways do not connect with the canals. With feral cats, I don't think that "a few miles" will do it, make it a lot of miles. Or turn them in to the local animal shelter, if you don't want to kill them. I understand that in some places in Florida they have problems with feral chickens - no problem there, open up a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, and have really low over head. But the worst case scenario is probably in some places in I believe it is Nevada, perhaps Arizona, with packs of chihuahuas running amok, that would be worse than Godzilla.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
They do that with gators, down in Florida. But when the trap on in canals, that are connected to other waterways, too often it seems the gators make their way back. In the case of gators, it would be best to move them to somewhere that the waterways do not connect with the canals. With feral cats, I don't think that "a few miles" will do it, make it a lot of miles.
The homing instinct of cats is legendary, and I doubt that it applies only to pets.
 

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They do that with gators, down in Florida. But when the trap on in canals, that are connected to other waterways, too often it seems the gators make their way back. In the case of gators, it would be best to move them to somewhere that the waterways do not connect with the canals. With feral cats, I don't think that "a few miles" will do it, make it a lot of miles. Or turn them in to the local animal shelter, if you don't want to kill them. I understand that in some places in Florida they have problems with feral chickens - no problem there, open up a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, and have really low over head. But the worst case scenario is probably in some places in I believe it is Nevada, perhaps Arizona, with packs of chihuahuas running amok, that would be worse than Godzilla.

No these are not feral cats but stray cats that I relocate. The "Strays around here come for handouts which feeding them may seem like a great idea for the animal lovers but the cycle is that they get fed for a short time and then the person stops feeding but the cat(s) remain often dropping a litter or 2 before they leave or die. 2 stray cats turn into 22 stray cats looking for some food and starving to death and dying from disease infront of your eyes. They will decrease the bird and squirrel population.

If a Feral cats crossed my path I would treat it like a snake. If it did not flee I would have to kill it.
 

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Tennessee has pretty much an open season on wild hogs. The meat is edible. There is a caution on field dressing due to brucellosis. It is appalling the damage they are doing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Some of the old homesteads in Cades Cove look like the ground has been plowed by a drunk.
 

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Tennessee has pretty much an open season on wild hogs. The meat is edible. There is a caution on field dressing due to brucellosis. It is appalling the damage they are doing in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Some of the old homesteads in Cades Cove look like the ground has been plowed by a drunk.
In reality, I do not believe there is a closed season on feral hogs anywhere. In Texas the hogs supposed carry pseudo-rabies, along with several other nasty things, and are not considered edible. Don't know about that, but don't think I would go hog hunting for meat. This link give hunting rules in all of the states. https://www.hogmanoutdoors.com/regulations I have never seen any evidence of them in my area, but know for a fact that hunters do hunt them in this area.
 
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