Auckland Area Cat Camera Survey

The Morgan Foundation cat camera study has been an amazing project for the last 6 months. We have been placing cameras in back yards all over the suburbs of Wellington to record what wanders past them.  Here are the results http://halo.org.nz/cat-control/

We have been concentrating firstly on Wellington and now want to place some cameras around properties in the Auckland area.

The Cameras are small, camouflaged and can snap pictures of creatures visiting your property both day and night.

We have quite a few cameras so are looking for volunteer Households in these 2 areas to help us:

West Auckland near the Waitakere Ranges

Between Mt Albert and Mt Eden

If you would be happy to give us the use of your backyards for a couple of weeks, that would be fantastic.

Please note, you should a ‘cat free’ or ‘indoor cat’ household.

If you are keen to support this initiative please complete this form  

We will be placing the cameras from mid August until November so would need permission to access your property. The units just strap to a tree stump or post and are completely self contained. 

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for considering being part of the Morgan Foundation wandering cat camera survey.

 

  • Guy

    Would be very keen to participate if you do the Glenfield area.
    Guy

    • Thanks Guy that might happen down the line a bit.

  • jen

    With this monitoring, since you’re gathering statistics and taking the liberty to extrapolate to the larger population, can you tell us how many incidents of predation you counted? Seems only fair that you divulge the whole picture, or would that dilute your claims that the cats are to blame for the shortage of birds in urban areas. Are you worried that would leave you ONLY the tresspass argument left to rely on?

    • Hi Jen. These are motion activated cameras so are much better for instances of trespass than predation. There is very good data on cat predation from NZ and around the world, and we don’t want to replicate that. The data gap is on cat trespass. The kitty cam study in Wellington put cameras around pet cats necks and found they each kill on average one skink or gecko per day.

      • Alex Kerr

        I dont believe it Geoff. The number of cats used and those few results must never be extrapolated. It would be like putting a camera around twenty year olds in Henderson to see how many fights they get into and then using that information to describe all age groups in all areas.

        • I don’t see your point Alex. Your analogy is talking about a biased sample. From what you know of our methodology why do you think this is a biased sample?

          • Alex Kerr

            Because I think your sample isn’t big enough Geoff and hasn’t taken many variables into consideration, one of which is the type of person that would allow cameras in their yards because they will own certain types of cats. I would bet that these people do not have a lot of interaction with their cats, are probably professionals, high in intellect, low in awareness, who traditionally have left their cats to their own devices. I say this because I believe the influence of owners and whether owners are home and call their cats periodically, expecting their cats to appear at regular intervals is important and has a big affect on how cats behave. This is crucial as I believe most of New Zealand’s cats are owned by lower socio economic families who have greater input into their pets and who shape them with that interaction. Other variables are the ages of the cats, whether the cats are in at night and only out at certain times. All these things affect how cats will behave. The fact that you are studying this at all shows that your study is prejudiced as you are likely trying to prove that they do rather than don’t impact wildlife which will subconciously even affect your choice of subject. My own cats need sun, vitamin D, and trees to climb and scratch, but mostly to find a few good spots to sleep. They enjoy it and it keeps cabin fever and neurotic behavior away which you sometimes see during bad winters when they are inside all the time.
            Also I dispute your extrapolations because Victoria University recently ran a similar cat cam study, showing that most cats do nothing and that bird predation was not found. See below:

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/10111540/Scientists-GPS-to-let-the-cat-out-of-the-bag

            In overseas studies using subjects that were known hunters ( which prejudices results immediately ) extrapolations were done based on a study by Kerry Ann Lloyd from the University of Georgia. Which was rebutted by the U,S. organisation Alley cat Allies who after examining the study said that In fifty two weeks the true results could be very different as every cat is different. A different group of cats would likely produce different results. A probability that Kerry Ann Lloyd was actually quick to agree with saying her study did not intend to try and extrapolate or project figures.

            http://www.care2.com/causes/study-finds-cats-hunt-more-critters-than-thought.html

  • Clive Willgoss

    I would be keen on a camera at 9, Freeland Ave Mt Roskill if that is with-in your zone.
    We have no cats in the house, but a few do wander through and possums. But I did manage to trap one of them with a Timms Kill Trap. I also have a live capture trap.