Cats pose a serous threat to bird populations all over the world. Cats kill and injure birds, rodents, lizards and other small animals regularly, but researchers in New Zealand are hoping they have found a solution that can save lives.
Some conservationists at Victoria University of Wellington are putting brightly colored court jester style collars on cats in the hopes that this collar will make the cats “less effective hunters, thus diminishing their effect on local wildlife.” Victoria University researcher and conservationist Heidy Kikillus explained, “Many birds have advanced color vision and see bright colors especially well, even in low light. The collar covers have been tested overseas with promising results, and we would like to investigate if they have the same success in New Zealand.”
The Wellington City Council is encouraging cat owners in their area to put these collars on their cats to help with the study. Willing participants will be provided with a collar and then asked to keep a record of the prey caught both with and without the collar over an 8-week period.
New Zealand is an island and that creates a problem when the cat population threatens bird populations with possible extinction. Conservationists are hoping this will help.
The collars are made by an American company called BirdsBeSafe if you’re interested in getting one for your own cat.