National Wildlife Federation, Affiliates Urge Local, Humane Measures to Protect Island Wildlife from Cats, Invasive Predators

RESTON, Va. — State and local governments should take humane steps to protect island wildlife from domestic cats and other invasive predators, the 52 state and territorial affiliates of the National Wildlife Federation, including the Conservation Council for Hawai’i, Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña and the Virgin Islands Conservation Society, agreed today through a new resolution.

The resolution highlights the unique threats cats, rats, and introduced mammals pose to the endangered and at-risk wildlife species on Hawai’I, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other islands.

“The National Wildlife Federation urges passage and enforcement of local and state ordinances, and promotion of related actions to restrict free-roaming cat populations associated with human activities on islands, as well as supports education programs (such as American Bird Conservancy’s Cats Indoors Program) and common sense rules to eliminate or reduce the impact of outdoor cat activity on native island species,” the resolution states, and … that the National Wildlife Federation calls for development of improved trapping and toxicant options and methods to remove mammalian invasive predators that are humane and that avoid secondary impacts to non-target species.”

“Conservation Council for Hawai'i appreciates the acknowledgement that something more needs to be done to protect our islands native species,” said Moana Bjur, executive director of the Conservation Council for Hawai'i. “The passing of this resolution provides us the support and foundation to engage local policy makers and industry partners in taking action to protect native plants, animals, and ecosystems utilizing progressive humane strategies.”

"This resolution recognizes one of the biggest threats to native and endemic wildlife species on islands,” said Julissa Irizarry of the Sociedad. “With its passage, the National Wildlife Federation provides a platform for our organization to engage in local partnerships and protect Puerto Rico's avifauna. By promoting humane actions, this resolution supports the movement to ensure the welfare of Puerto Rico's out-sized stray cat and dog populations." 

“The protection of our wildlife from predators is paramount and all efforts to help reduce the harmful impacts from stray cats and other island predators will help protect our threatened and endangered species in the Virgin Islands," said Jason Budsan, president of the Virgin Islands Conservation Society. "We are grateful to Conservation Council For Hawai'i  for their resolution and the National Wildlife Federation for its passage."

The National Wildlife Federation’s 52 state and territorial affiliates adopted this resolution at the organization’s 84th Annual Meeting. The proceedings and discussion on this and other resolutions, which guide the Federation’s work, were held virtually due to the COVID-19 crisis.



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