Cecilia DowdAug 9, 2018, 3:01 pm

Feral cats to be removed from Jones Beach to protect endangered birds

Officials say felines will be trapped in a humane manner to keep them away from piping plovers

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WANTAGH — There's been a settlement in the battle between cats and birds on Jones Beach.

The American Bird Conservancy had filed a federal lawsuit in 2016 claiming the state was failing to adequately protect an endangered bird called the piping plover by allowing cat lovers to feed a colony of feral cats on the barrier island.

Under an agreement reached earlier this week, cats currently living in colonies at Jones Beach will be humanely trapped and removed by the end of the year to a sanctuary where they will be cared for.

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey says the agreement strikes a sensible balance between protecting the piping plover and relocating the feral cats.

The conservancy says it ensures a safer environment for piping plovers to nest successfully in the future.

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