News

Dr. Susan Willson Birdsbesafe Cat Collar Study

Dr. Susan Willson has completed the field component of her study examining the effectiveness of a novel cat collar in decreasing adult bird deaths.  The study examines the Birdsbesafe® cat collar covers (www.birdsbesafe.com).  Dr. Willson and SYE research students Iyi Okunlola ’14 and Jessica Novak ’14 oversaw both owners and cats in two trials of the collar- the fall trial included 55 cats, and the spring trail included 24 cats.  In each trial, two groups of cats alternated the wearing of the collar in two-week blocks, for a total of 12 weeks.  After collecting and identifying prey remains for birds and mammals both with and without collar, it is clear that the collars are effective at decreasing bird deaths.  Dr. Willson and her students plan to submit their work for publication in a conservation journal this year.

See this recent story from North Country Public Radio done on this study. http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/26195/20141001/want-to-help-songbirds-collar-your-cat-says-slu-biologist