(CMR) A necropsy performed on a Booby parent and chick found dead on Sunday, 15 January, in the South West of Cayman Brac found that both had 14mm puncture wounds consistent with the teeth of cats.
The qualified veterinarian, who conducted the tests, identified that the adult had compound fractures and a broken wing. The spacing of the puncture wounds is too narrow to have been made by a dog’s teeth. The wounds also do not match the teeth pattern of a Sister Islands Rock Iguana, nor do they resemble wounds made by any bird of prey.
The Department of Environment warns, “cats are evasive, nocturnal hunters. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. We may not always catch them in the act, but as scientists, we rely on evidence to inform our decisions and evidence like this of feral cats killing Boobies has been recorded for many years.”
“We can no longer ignore the threats our native animals face, even if it makes us feel uncomfortable,” the DoE said.
The Department, which has started feral cat control, said results from the 2022 nesting season for Cayman Brac’s Brown Booby colony are grim. Of the 42 eggs identified during the season, only 13 fledged successfully.