Cat Tracker New Zealand

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1. Please provide a brief summary of your video and research.

In 2015 and 2016, over 200 pet cats in the Wellington region were tracked via Global Positioning System (GPS) units and their movements mapped on This large-scale Citizen Science project also collected copious amounts of information regarding cats and public attitudes towards them and their management. This project aimed to help better understand the cats’ home range, how much time they spend in different kinds of habitat, and how owners can manage pet cats to reduce their impact on wildlife.  

2. Do you have a video hashtag for sharing via twitter?



Helen Jones
over 2 years ago

What a great study Heidy, which goes to show what our loved ones really do get up to. and thanks for the mention that Wellington City Council has passed a bylaw requiring all cats in Wellington to be microchipped by the beginning of next year.

Paul Ward
over 2 years ago

I help run a community conservation project, where we're looking after birds spilling over Zealandia into Wellington in the wild. These include toutouwai/robin, kākā and tīeke/saddleback (who have bred in the wild on the mainland for the first time in a century in the reserve). We're trying to figure out what it will take to be neighbourly with these natives. Primarily our work involves trapping mustelids and rats, but we know we've lost tīeke to local domestic cats and to off-lead dogs, and behaviour change advocacy around responsible pet ownership is an important part of the equation. Research into the impact of domestic pets on native wildlife in urban environments is relatively scant, as is consistent advice on what actions owners can take to mitigate their pet's impact (e.g. mixed messaging over whether being contained during night or day is best). We have achieved some amount of behaviour change around dogs on leads, but cats are something of the elephant in the predator free room (to mix our animal metaphors!) with a lack of reliable and relatable data making korero even more difficult. Engaging research projects such as Heidy's Cat Tracker would undoubtedly be useful in terms of advancing the conversation within our community (and ultimately improving the chances of survival of taonga like tīeke and toutouwai in urban environments). Pre-Zealandia, there were relatively few conflicts of interest between pets and native wildlife, as the most vulnerable wildlife had been extirpated generations ago. Research such as Heidy's is especially timely as this re-introduced wildlife spills over into the city and into backyards, and we figure out how people, pets and native wildlife can get along progressively.

Charlotte Yates
over 2 years ago

Our cats have dealt to a great many rats and mice over the years - one year up to 800 ( 2 cats between 2/3 rats daily!) I was still surprised with our cat Fritz's range - we knew he had friends in the hood but there are definitely significant other humans in his life! Good luck Heidy!

Matthew Jensen
about 2 years ago

It is an outstanding project which he made. I hear first time that we can track out pets and their movements. The best part of this project is that we can evaluate that which things are better for our pets and which are not. I am a research author and students buy dissertation online from me. I will research on this project and sure I will write about it.

Philip Chester
almost 2 years ago

This is great way to protect our adorable cats right. We don't wanna lose our best friends gmail sign up

Shani Shaikh
over 1 year ago

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks...
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I study invasive species (specifically pets that may become pests) and Citizen Science (engaging with the public to collect and analyse data). In my current role I am able to intertwine these two ...

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