My colleague Nathan Eagle recently wrote about the threat of toxoplasmosis from cat feces to endangered seals in the islands.

A Civil Beat editorial then raised the uncomfortable notion that feral cat colonies in Hawaii may need to be culled (i.e., killed) should a “trap-neuter-return” approach prove insufficient.

A new book, “Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer,” goes further, examining the “threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world.”

Here’s an excerpt from the book’s summary:

In 1894, a lighthouse keeper named David Lyall arrived on Stephens Island off New Zealand with a cat named Tibbles.

In just over a year, the Stephens Island Wren, a rare bird endemic to the island, was rendered extinct.

Mounting scientific evidence confirms what many conservationists have suspected for some time — that in the United States alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions.

The book’s authors propose solutions “that foresee a time when wildlife and humans are no longer vulnerable to the impacts of free-ranging cats.”

A feral cat resting atop a brick wall at a park-and-ride in Hawaii Kai.
A feral cat resting atop a brick wall at a park-and-ride in Hawaii Kai. Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat

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