Feral cats removed to protect piping plovers

The piping plover is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and state listed in New York as endangered. ©Claudia Daggett

A colony of feral cats (Felis catus) has been removed from Long Island’s Jones Beach State Park and taken to animal shelters in an effort to protect piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) that nest at the beach. “The cats were removed humanely over time, in cooperation with cat caretakers who helped with trapping and locating acceptable shelters,” the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said in a statement. The state agreed to remove the 26 cats to settle a 2016 lawsuit brought by the American Bird Conservancy. The nonprofit argued that the state was violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to adequately protect the shorebirds, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act and state listed in New York as endangered.

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