Cayman Islands to cull feral cats to protect brown boobies

January 11, 2023 GMT

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Cayman Islands has announced it will start culling feral cats to help save a dwindling colony of brown booby birds.

The islands’ Department of Environment said the culling will take place in the eastern region of Cayman Brac island, where only 13 brown booby fledglings out of 42 eggs survived last year.

Officials said Tuesday that they will launch a humane trap and euthanasia program to help protect a new nesting season that is underway. They said any microchipped cats caught in the traps will be returned to identifiable owners.

Brown boobies breed in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, building nests only in the ground. They are not considered an endangered species worldwide.