Ua scourge very difficult to combat. In New Zealand, the preservation of birds is turning into a real struggle because of a number of invasive species which are causing the population of birds to fall. In addition to “classic” predators such as rats and opossums, the New Zealand authorities are faced with an invasion of much more… domestic animals: cats. According to Wellington Stuff, 41% of New Zealand households have a domestic cat. Added to this are the millions of feral cats whose proliferation is out of control and uncontrolled.

The first victims of this scourge are birds, including the precious kiwi, the quintessential symbol of New Zealand. According to The Guardian, Friday, April 8, wild cats (among which some domesticated cats certainly slip) are responsible for the death of at least 1.12 million birds each year. Because of this, some bird species are threatened with extinction.

No more pests by 2050?

This problem is not new since one of the most striking cases of extinction dates back to the end of the 19th century. The last Stephens Island wrens were killed by a lighthouse keeper’s cat in 1894. The extinct species was renamed the Lyall wrens, named after the lighthouse keeper.

READ ALSOMore than 150,000 animal and plant species have disappeared since the year 1500

But recently, collectives and protection associations have started to think about solutions to prevent wild cats from proliferating and killing more and more birds. In 2016, a radical bill was even put on the table: that everything be done to ensure that pests (rats and wild cats) are eradicated from the archipelago by 2050. But cat lovers have done barrage.

So far, no concrete solution has been put in place. But the SPCA, the national association for the protection of animals, is campaigning to regulate the sterilization of domestic cats.