A killer named Tibbles?
Wildlife specialists often tell the story of Tibbles, a cat that traveled with her owner to New Zealand in 1894.
The pair settled on Stephens Island, where a type of small, flightless bird abounded.
But when Tibbles arrived, she single-handedly hunted the birds to extinction, conservationists have alleged.
Where cats have been introduced, they have decimated native creatures, according to a 2011 study by biologists.
“I feel pretty strongly that it is a pretty devastating invasive species,” said Jason Luscier, an associate professor of biology at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. He helped develop an app, called “Cat Tracker,” to get a more accurate reading on the number of outdoor cats around the world.
Professor Luscier, who emphasized that he is fond of cats (“they’re super snuggly”), said it is colonies of feral cats, which multiply easily and can overwhelm an ecosystem, that are the bigger threat to birds and other wildlife, not outdoor domestic pets that come in at night and are fed regular meals.