Jones Beach Feral Cats

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Feral Cats Being Removed From Jones Beach To Protect Endangered Birds

August 09, 2018 - 11:32 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Feral cats will be removed from Jones Beach after a conservation group sued, claiming the animals were harming an endangered species.

Jones Beach spokesperson George Gorman says there are about two dozen cats that will soon be humanely removed after a Virginia-based organization called American Bird Conservancy sued, claiming the felines were killing the endangered piping plover.

"We are going to remove them very quickly, we are going to remove them humanely, we're not going to hurt them," Gorman said. "We are going to trap them, we are going to do it very humanely, we're going to use Havahart traps, we're going to have them checked out by a vet and then we're going to transport them to a sanctuary so they will be cared for."

Gorman says the birds were never in any harm because of the cats.

"We absolutely deny that any of the cats hurt any piping plover on the beachfront, however, we came to a settlement with them so that we would remove all of the cats within Jones Beach State Park," Gorman said.

But American Bird Conservancy President Michael Parr claims at least one nest had been lost to a cat.

"There was another nest that was lost, it wasn't clear if it was a cat or another predator, but at least one was lost," Parr said.

Gorman says new cameras will be added to the area along with increased enforcement to make sure no one leaves a cat at Jones Beach in the future.

"A lot of the cats we believe were dropped off and that's why we are going to take action to try to prevent that from hapenning," Gorman said.