Friends of the Farm – a community group
Important information for cat owners around Ambury Regional Park
Here is the annual notice from Auckland Council reminding us of how we can help support the marvelous shorebird and wildlife sanctuary at our doorstep. Our model is the bridge’s cheekiest feline Phydough.
Property owners please pass this information to your tenants.
Ambury Regional Park is a world-renowned shorebird and wildlife sanctuary that integrates recreation, conservation and farming. It’s a place where rare and endangered species can thrive. Ambury rangers and Friends of the Farm have been helping to reduce pest numbers in order to grow numbers of rare and endangered plant and animal species.
Of particular interest at Ambury Regional Park are the black billed gull, which is nationally critical and the most endangered gull in the world, the NZ Dotterel, which is nationally vulnerable and the pied stilt, which is at risk/ declining.
Managing the pressures facing our wildlife
Introduced mammals, including rats and stoats predate on our vulnerable native wildlife. We know our local community consider it a privilege to be living so close to a world-renowned shorebird and wildlife sanctuary like this, but it also creates some challenges. One of these is the prevalence of introduced animals, including companion and stray cats.
While we love our companion cats, if they find their way into the park, they put our endangered native birds, reptiles and insects in danger.
Unowned cat control
We have set up cage traps to target unowned cats, in areas away from residential housing. These will be live capture traps, so any pet cat caught can be safely returned to their owners.
At rural sites such as Waitawa that are home to threatened native wildlife, an unowned cat means:
Any cat which is not:
- Microchipped, or otherwise identified with owner’s name and address; and
- Registered on the New Zealand Companion Animal Register: www.animalregister.co.nz
On the rare chance we catch a pet we need to be able to identify the owner through a collar or a microchip, so that we can ensure it can be safely returned home. If you do not have a collar we can supply one, free of charge.
Unowned cats will be rehomed when possible, those that can’t be rehomed will be humanly euthanized.
How can pet owners help?
Please have your cat microchipped. This will help ensure we can tell your cat is owned and return it safely to you. Talk to your vet and make sure the chip details are registered on the NZ Companion Animal Register. Vets, the council’s animal shelter and groups like the SPCA have access to the register and park staff have access to chip ‘scanners’. Microchipping is the fastest growing responsible cat ownership trend – join the 31% of NZ cats that are already chipped.
Get your cat’s microchip checked when it’s visiting the vet. It’s a good idea to check chips are still working, if you’re visiting the vet for other reasons. You can also talk to your vet for advice on reliable brands of microchips.
Put a cat collar on your cat. Put your name and address on the collar so rangers know who to contact. You can also attach a bell on the collar, so they can’t sneak up on birds
De-sex your cat. This reduces the risk of them wandering and avoids adding to the surplus of unowned cats.91% of Aucklanders’ pet cats are already de-sexed – to protect our wildlife we need your help to make that 100%!
At night-time keep your cat inside as much as possible, as this is when they are likely to wander. As well as protecting wildlife, this will help keep your cat safe from being run over or getting into cat fights.
When going away please put your cat in a cattery or get someone to keep an eye on it and make sure it’s still feeling loved.
How can I support the native wildlife at Ambury?
- Become a supporter of Friends of the Farm.
- Volunteer at Ambury. Volunteers assist with:
- Animal pest surveillance and control
- Weed management
- Wildlife monitoring
- Native habitat creation
- Attend winter public planting dates