04/18/23 – CAT FEEDING PROTEST RESULTS IN TWO CITATIONS FOR ILLEGAL TAKING OF NĒNĒ
Posted on April 19, 2023 in DOCARE, Press releases, slider
|JOSH GREEN, MD|
For Immediate Release: April 18, 2023
PROTEST OVER FEEDING CATS RESULTS IN TWO CITATIONS FOR ILLEGAL TAKING BABY
To view the video, click on the photo or view on this link: https://vimeo.com/819005877
(WAIKOLOA, HAWAI’I) – Officials with DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) cited two women tonight during a protest by feral cat activists.
About 50 people, some carrying large bags of cat food, showed up in a rear parking lot of Queens’ Marketplace Shopping Center to protest the property owner’s decision to remove three cat feeding stations, after DLNR told them noticed that the cat food was attracting the nēnē, the state bird of Hawaii. The situation drew the attention of DLNR from concerned citizens.
Both women, with addresses in Waikoloa, were cited for prohibiting the taking of endangered species (HRS 195-D), after they allegedly put bowls of cat food on the ground. Both women were also informed by a Queens’ Marketplace security officer that they were trespassing and that they were no longer allowed anywhere on the property. A third woman received a warning after being seen pouring cat food into bowls behind a shed.
A local feral cat feeding group mobilized about 50 people to protest the decision to stop feeding feral cats in Waikoloa.
DLNR, along with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), has a legal responsibility to protect native Hawaiian species, including our nēnē. The nēnē are listed as an endangered species under Hawaii state law and as a threatened species under federal law. Law enforcement is required to take action to prevent feeding of nēnē, which is considered illegal take (a negative impact on a threatened or endangered species). Also, in this case, the owner does not support the establishment or maintenance of feeding stations on his property.
Feral cats can be serious predators of our native species and can carry deadly diseases, including toxoplasmosis. For this reason, the DLNR has previously signaled its support for keeping cats indoors and not feeding or maintaining cat colonies, as outlined by the Hawaii Invasive Species Council. Resolution 19-2supporting the keeping of domestic cats indoors and the use of peer-reviewed science to seek human mitigation of the impacts of feral cats on wildlife and people.
In a statement released today, DLNR said: “As animal lovers, we strongly believe that keeping cats inside is better for cats and for native wildlife, including nēnē, for which we are responsible.”
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(All videos/images courtesy: DLNR)
HD Video: Waikoloa Quotes (April 18, 2023): https://vimeo.com/819005877
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