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Published on Dec 12, 2013
This feral cat was trapped in a rural Laysan albatross colony (note nest in background) and an adult bird approached the trap without any apparent awareness that it contained a predator. After their chicks hatch, parents must leave to forage at sea, so their babes are left alone when they are only a few weeks old. They are defenseless, and even more vulnerable to free-roaming cats than the adults.
Many other native Hawaiian birds face the same risk: they have evolved over millions of years in the absence of predatory mammals. Several bird species that still live on Kauai are likely extinct on other islands. This is their last stand, their Noah's Ark.
Keeping cats indoors is one way to keep Hawaii's birds among us. The cats are safer and healthier indoors too.