Reef and Fishery Assessment of Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge

On April 23, 2009 scientists from the NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami Florida (SEFSC) departed from San Juan, Puerto Rico aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. Their destination: the Navassa National Wildlife Refuge. Along with the NOAA scientists are researchers from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM/RSMAS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Director of the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), an NGO based in Haiti.
This work is funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Domestic Animals Out of Place

As an artifact of intermittent human occupation dating back to the late 1800s, domestic animals (dogs, cats, and goats) have occupied the remote island of Navassa. Some of those animals persist today. During our research mission thus far, we observed 3 feral cats roaming the old stairways near Lulu Bay. These cats are NOT wildlife, and they can have devastating impacts on native species. On an island with no native mammalian predators, these cats are efficient hunters of birds, bird eggs, and probably lizards. While there are many places in society that are appropriate for cats, national wildlife refuges, such as Navassa, are not among them.
Photo by Abel Valdivia
- Patricia Morrison

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