Friday, March 30, 2012

Feral freeroaming outdoor cats in Maine

Since 2006, the Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society has worked on the feral or free roaming or outdoor cat issue. In March 2007 they issued a Feral Cats position statement opposing Trap Neuter Return (based on the position statement of the national The Wildlife Society) that is also hosted on the website of the Maine office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Maine Chapter of TWS prepared a mailing to all veterinarians in the state of Maine and formed the Feral and Outdoor Cat Committee. Several years ago they began planning a feral cat study to document locations of feral cat colonies in Maine and their impact on wildlife. In their November 2011 newsletter and on the Maine Wetlands website, they request help with the study, and report having “documented 33 likely locations of feral cat colonies ranging in size from 10 individuals to nearly 100.”

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Feral Cat Blog! Notes:

In November 2011 I advised leading cat advocates nationwide that the HSUS rep in Maine, Katie Lisnik, began hosting freeroaming cat forums and prepared a report on Freeroaming Cats in Maine. (Katie Lisnik is now the national HSUS Director of Cat Protection and Policy.)

In December 2009 I shared the following with leading cat advocates nationwide:

You'll recall the essay, Critical Assessment of TNR, authored by Longcore of The Urban Wildlands Group* that I shared in April 2009. Shortly after, a group of environmental people** who do not favor Trap-Neuter-Return issued a related paper issued by Lepcyzk et al., What Conservation Biologists Can Do Regarding Trap-Neuter-Return: A Response to Longcore et al.
Downloadable doc file
One of the authors, Elizabeth Stone, DVM, is on the board of the Center for Wildlife Health Research, a Maine group with interest in the feral cat and wildlife problem. You’ll note their Maine cat survey, research they plan, school curriculum regarding cats, and board member bios.
Very interestingly, Dr. Stone is opening a high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic for cats in Pownal, Maine “as part of the CWHR‘s strategy to reduce cat depredation on wildlife.” An education component is included. The clinic is listed as pending with Humane Alliance‘s NSNRT program.
The Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society has issued a position statement against TNR, based on that of the national group. A letter in support of a grant application for Dr. Stone’s spay/neuter clinic has been submitted by the Maine Wildlife Society to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Maine Wildlife Society is also working with a student to investigate the impact of feral cat colonies on Maine’s wildlife and species of concern. They sent a letter in May 2009 to Maine veterinarians with their position statement and asking for help in promoting indoor cats .
* Longcore, Travis - The Urban Wildlands Group is one of the six conservation groups that filed a lawsuit in June 2008 against the City of Los Angeles where the judge’s decision December 4, 2009 ruled against City support of TNR. In Jan 2007 I learned of the CEQA requirement for LA Animal Services and contacted Boks, then GM, for the report which was in process.
** Lepcyk and Hatley (I’ve shared their papers on forums and on Feral Cats in the News ~ the Feral Cat Blog!); all are familiar with Temple!)

A few days later in December 2009 I mentioned:

Something I meant to include in this message was a disturbing comment in the January 2009 minutes and March 2009 newsletter of the Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

In addition to TNR, need to declaw cats so they don’t continue to wreak havoc on wildlife.

March 30, 2012 Notes:

The Community Spay Neuter Clinic operated by Dr. Stone in Freeport Maine opened in November 2010 and includes services for feral cats.

The website for the for Center for Wildlife Health Research [ ] is again not online at this time. I have a presentation (that I believe was hosted there) titled "Reducing wildlife predation by cats: Finding opportunities" by Allen Salo and Elizabeth Stone which includes these topics:

Educational experiences and views of veterinarians of indoor cat confinement by cat owners
Status and trends of feral cat colonies and TNR in Maine

The 2009 comment paper in Conservation Biology, "What Conservation Biologists Can Do Regarding Trap Neuter Return: Response to Longcore et al" which was hosted on the Center for Wildlife Health Research website when it was online and is hosted on the American Bird Conservancy website and elsewhere.

See also: Another perspective on feral cat control
David A. Jessup, DVM MPVM DACZM and Elizabeth Stone, DVM MS in JAVMA Vol 237 No 5, September 1, 2010