7 Jun 2013

Biologist calls for cat owners to gather bird kill data

9:54 pm on 7 June 2013

A Wellington wildlife biologist is proposing that cat owners get together in their communities to gather data measuring the impact cats have on wildlife.

Wayne Linklater says he was inspired by the Cats To Go campaign run by the economist and philanthropist, Gareth Morgan, and wants people to conduct their own research.

He says some groups could keep cats indoors, while others could set rat traps, and others could simply let their cats roam.

He says the response to a blog he writes on the subject was immediate, with at least a dozen cat owners contacting him offering to be involved.

Dr Linklater says the project only needs small groups to co-operate for it to work.

A researcher for the anti-cat Morgan Foundation, Geoff Simmons, says the Foundation supports communities doing their own research to find out what impact cats have on wildlife.

He says scientific studies have already been done, but if new research helps those who remain unconvinced that cats kill native birds, then the Morgan Foundation supports it.

Mr Simmons says the Morgan Foundation will extend its anti-cat campaign Wellington-wide at the end of June.

He says until now it has been kept to the area around the Zealandia Wildlife Reserve.