Jeremy Felt

Darwin And The Killing of Kittens

I’ll start off by establishing that metafilter posts are great time wasters that lead you all over the internet with nonsense trivia.

That being said, I learned today that 4 years ago, it was made known that a 3 year program assisted by the Charles Darwin Foundation was deemed successful at eradicating cats from the island of Baltra among the Galapagos islands.

Why would the Darwin foundation want to kill cats? Well, because the native Galapagos Land Iguana was having trouble surviving in the presence of the hungry kittens.

Fair enough. But why is this all interesting to Jeremy? I’ll tell you. In the 1930’s, Citizen Kane himself, newspaper publishing animal lover that he was, decided to transport some of the iguanas over to neighboring North Seymour island to see if they would survive. They did, and then when the original iguanas on Balta went extinct during the 1940s when the island was used as a US Air Force base, the iguanas on North Seymour were used as replacements for the Balta iguanas sometime in the 1980s. All fine and dandy until people started bring their house cats onto the island, then the iguanas were in danger again, which is why the Darwin Foundation removes kittens with “spotlights and rifles“. Interesting, no?