Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 9, 2009

Gilbert park battle: Bird lovers vs. cat caretakers

Filed under: Birds, Cats, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, Non Birds — richditch @ 7:21 pm
Well fed feral cat at Gilbert Water Ranch

Well fed feral cat at Gilbert Water Ranch

A topic I discussed recently has made the local newspaper, as seen in this article on AZ Central: Gilbert park battle: Bird lovers vs. cat caretakers.

Scott Anderson, director of the Riparian Institute, estimates about 40 cats presently live in the preserve.

“The preserve is in an urban area and we’re going to have people who are going to abandon animals there,” said Anderson, who favors Save the Cats Arizona’s approach.

Anderson said trapping and adopting the cats, or trapping and neutering them best controls the population.

“That seems to be the most common thing that happens around the country. I would prefer not to release them, but that’s the best we can do right now. An alternative is to trap and remove them to the county (Maricopa County Animal Care and Control) which will euthanize them or arrange adoption according to the temperament of the cat,” he said.

Anderson’s goal is to “get it to a small population that will not have an impact on the preserve.” He also wants to give Bloom more time, saying he hasn’t “got a lot of evidence that the cats are killing the birds.”

Unfortunately, releasing the neutered cats back into the preserve does not address the basic issue of the cats killing birds and other native wildlife in the preserve. It is astonishing that after trapping the feral cats they are then returned to the refuge to continue doing their damage.

Meanwhile, Bloom is convinced that his population stabilizing program, recommended by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is the best way to help both the cats and birds.

The daily feeding keeps the territorial cats in one area of the 110-acre preserve, and helps keep them domesticated. Only newborn kittens are feral.

“Cats will stay in and not expend energy if they have food coming to them,” he said.

This is complete fiction as anyone who has lived with cats knows all too well.

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1 Comment »

  1. Cats at the Preserve a real problem.. I see them all the time when I go there, It’s a real problem when you think that a rare or migrating bird that might never come back at the Preserve gets eaten before we can have a glimpsy of it…

    Comment by Everton De Melo — February 9, 2009 @ 8:36 pm


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