The Live and Let Live project is a responsible cat management initiative on the Waimeha/Waimea Inlet, where conservationists and cat-lovers are working together to protect native wildlife.
“The ultimate aim of the project is to support & extend the work of numerous local volunteer groups which have worked for many years to restore the Waimea Inlet through replanting, weed control and predator control . . . It’s also about the whole community finding ways to protect native wildlife without endangering the well-being of beloved pet cats”
The project aims to protect vulnerable native wildlife on the Waimeha/Waimea Inlet by trapping feral cats, while also protecting domestic cats and encouraging responsible cat management.
Since 2016 Live and Let Live has engaged with cat owners who live close to key habitat areas on the Waimeha/Waimea Inlet. Owners are offered free micro-chipping for their pet cats and advised how to manage them to minimise impacts on native birds. At the same time, wild cats are controlled to protect vulnerable bird species living in these areas.
Waimeha/Waimea Inlet is the largest semi-enclosed estuary in the South Island and recognised as a wetland of international importance.
The inlet is home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and threatened native plants and animals, including birds like the variable oystercatcher/tōrea pango, wrybill/ngutu pare, banded rail/moho pererū, marsh crake/koitareke, Australasian bittern/matuku and bar-tailed godwit/kuaka.
In related work, The Battle for the Banded Rail Project is restoring vegetation and undertaking extensive trapping in areas of significance around the inlet. The goal is to increase the numbers of banded rail/moho pererū and other shy, margin-dwelling birds on the estuary.
The Live and Let Live Project aims to:
• Reduce predation of banded rail/moho pererū and other vulnerable native species
• Improve community understanding of the impact cats have on wildlife
• Improve community understanding of the significant values of the Waimea Inlet/Waimeha
• Micro-chip 100% of domestic cats in the project area with funding support from the Tasman District Council
• Remove stray and wild cats from the project area
• Persuade residents to keep domestic cats inside at night