Cats v. corncrakes, an Irish story

Posted December 8th, 2009 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

The corncrake on Ireland’s Tory Island is in trouble, says the Independent. A recent survey only counted 9 singing males, not good. Feral cats are being blamed by a group called Birdwatch Ireland. In an effort to give the birds a chance, the domestic cats have been neutered, the feral ones euthenized. Did they get them all?:

Cats have been known to kill corncrake chicks, which are hatched in nests made in meadows, and are unable to fly for five weeks.

"For the protection of people and other animals that frequent the island, the feral cats were caught and euthanised humanely," said Sandy Alcorn, a corncrake field worker with Birdwatch Ireland.

"We took photographs of all the pet cats and provided them with collars before we started to catch the feral cats in humane traps and euthanise them," she said.

"As things now stand, the domestic cat population has been neutered and hopefully there won’t be too many kittens next year," Ms Alcord added.

What does that mean exactly? Sounds like a hedge. In other words, the group probably got a lot of cats fixed or killed but I’m sure there were a few "get-throughs" as we used to say in the Air Defense business.

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