The first cat owners have been released from the cat curfew to protect Waldorf’s rare birds. Animals must wear a GPS tracker when they are released.
Regine Tredwell of Walldorf is one of two cat owners released from a nationwide curfew for cats to protect the rare crowned lark in Walldorf (Rhein-Neckar region). The third application is still being considered by the responsible district office in the Rhine-Neckar region.
Cats are allowed outside thanks to a special permit
Regine Tredwell is allowed to allow her two 13-year-old cats outside with a special permit. The reason: your animals are very old and always stay in the same outdoor area; This is just north of the crested lark’s breeding range, far enough away. This was also confirmed by a biologist who was said to have never seen Regine Treadwell in the infected area of the crowned lark.
Access is monitored using a GPS tracker
Despite the exemption, the two cats must comply with certain requirements according to the general decree: each release must be monitored with the help of a GPS tracker. Data should be sent to The Nature Conservancy on a weekly basis. If a cat is in the danger zone, Regine Treadwell receives an alarm on her smartphone and must immediately catch the cat and report it to the authorities immediately. Despite the exemption, the cat’s owner is not satisfied.
A GPS tracker as big as a smartphone
The purchase of each GPS tracker Regine Tredwell cost 60 euros, and she has to pay an additional five euros each month. This is one of the cheapest models. However, your cats will not be compatible with the collar-like device. Problem: The GPS tracker is as big as a smartphone and annoying. So cats are no longer able to take care of themselves properly and will not be able to bear the extra weight on their necks.
Regine Tredwell calls for higher fences to be built around the breeding area
Not only cats are among the predators of the crowned lark. Small birds are also easy prey for magpies and foxes. Many Walldorf cat owners find it pointless to prevent their cats from going outside. So Reigen Treadwell is calling for higher walls to be built. Protecting the species of the crowned lark is also important for her. In this way protection from all kinds of animals is better.
According to the biologist, high fences are useless
But it is not so easy, says biologist Hans-Joachim Fischer, for example, who monitors the protective measures of the crowned lark in Walldorf. Protective fences are high enough to protect birds during the breeding season. But when the little birds got moving, they left the fenced area. They could no longer fly well and were inexperienced to dodge cats. You can’t move birds either. Several alternative areas have been created for them. But crowned larks are birds that remain true to their territory.
Walldorf seeks talks with nature conservation authorities
The situation is complicated. The city of Walldorf is currently in talks with the region, state, conservation authority and biologists about whether measures to protect the crowned lark should be too stringent, according to Waldorf Mayor Matthias Renschler.
Attention at the national level
Since mid-May, cats have not been allowed to roam the rare crowned lark breeding grounds in southern Walldorf – unless kept on a short leash. And from April to August. This measure has already attracted the country’s attention in the past few weeks.
The ban on free-running cats in Waldorf (Rheinnecker County) is still causing a stir. Criticism of disposal is growing. Even the local Animal Protection Association wants to sue.