|Maybe the last of the feral cats made their way to the island in "Lost"
Late this afternoon I spoke with Scott Cleaves, the Park Ranger, @ GWR . In the last two weeks he has only seen one cat in the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch. He has repeatedly tried to catch it over the last two weeks, and today he was successful. To the best knowledge of GWR and Riparian Preserve staff, there are NO feral cats left at GWR! The most recent survey in mid-March reported only 13 cats left in the preserve. The staff trapped eight of those cats. Coyotes or natural causes are believed to have accounted for the other five. (Coyotes have been photographed this spring with one adult and two kittens in coyote mouths.) Last October's survey had 82 cats and two litters of hidden kittens living in the preserve.
Signs have been installed at the GWR prohibiting the dumping of any type of animal at the facility. An ordinance prohibiting the dumping of animals has been drafted and circulated for comments. It will come before the town council this summer for adoption. Town employees will continue to trap for cats should any more appear at GWR.
If you run into Scott Anderson, Riparian Preserve Executive Director, Education Director Lisa Hermann, Ranger Scott Cleaves, or Naturalist Jennie Rambo during a future visit to GWR, please thank them for their efforts to make the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch at feral cat-free facility. Thanks goes out as well to the members of Save the Cats Arizona for their cooperation in the removal of the cats.
Thank you to all those on the list serve that contacted Gilbert town staff and elected officials regarding this issue. The hard work of the birding community has been rewarded with a cat-free Important Birding Area here in Gilbert, AZ.
Bonus section written by this blogger's dog "Paco"-
Quiz for Cat Owners:
The above sign means:
- No swinging cats by the hind legs allowed at GWR.
- No "Kitty n' Me" Thai Chi permitted at GWR.
- Cat-Juggling is not allowed, please keep your circus animals at home.
- No dumping cats at GWR.