Over the last three years, the Marine Section of ENRD has been monitoring the Red-Billed Tropicbird Colony on the slopes of Ladder Hill and the old Firing Range, as part of a seabird tracking project. The low breeding level of these birds was caused by the action of cats, a natural predator of the tropicbirds. This has led to trapping of feral cats at key areas.
This year we have observed that domestic dogs have also damaged the breeding population, resulting in breeding efforts at Ladder Hill and the old Firing Range failing.
Owners of dogs are reminded that their pets must be kept on a leash and not allowed to wander unsupervised. Under the Dog & Cat Ordinance 2011, the owner or keeper of a dog can be fined up to Pound 500 for allowing their dog to wander unsupervised or uncontrolled in any public place.
As cat trapping continues in the affected area, cats that are not microchipped will be destroyed. Owners of cats and dogs are reminded that their pets must be microchipped and licensed by the age of seven months.
The Veterinary Surgeon at ANRD offers cats and dogs neutering, with the microchip inserted at the same time. If a cat is neutered, the licence is free and issued once for life.
Neutering costs Pound 5 for a male cat and Pound 7 for a female. Male dogs cost Pound 8 and females Pound 5.
Source: St Helena Government