Ascension frigatebirds are once again on the island they are named for. According to the Telegraph, a project to eliminate feral cats from Ascension Island has been successful, and now two of the endangered seabirds have begun nesting in their ancestral home. The birds have been missing from the island for nearly 200 years, ever since feral cats first invaded.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds coordinated the decade-long project with several methods approved by the RSPCA and the Humane Society, including capturing and relocating cats as well as the use of poisoned bait in areas where domestic cats or other animals would not be affected.
Feral cats are a grave threat to seabird nesting colonies, but the success of this and similar projects sparks hope for better wildlife management and bird preservation. Backyard birders can also take steps to discourage feral cats and protect their feeders and bird houses, even if the results aren't quite as dramatic.
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Photo © Drew Avery