Matthew R. 2023 | BASIS Independent Brooklyn
- Project Title: Effectively Curbing New York City's Feral Cat Population
- Basis Independent Advisor: Mark Sperazza
- Internship Location: Morning Glory & Bumble Bee LLC
- Onsite Mentor: Dr. Margaret Cuonzo
Within NYC’s 306 square miles, there is one feral cat for every 5.33 people. Yet, the public associates the word “cat” with domesticated animals, resulting in a hesitancy to address this overpopulation. This project aims to correct this public perception to achieve the first step towards feral cat population control: securing community relations. Cats are also apex predators and have massive dominance over the ecosystem. This project takes a unique angle regarding how the feral cat population affects bees, in an isolated, binary ecosystem. For this project, I will research previous feral cat population studies that have been conducted in other areas, use population math and statistics, research into city ecosystems, and work on a farm to study the impact of bees on agriculture, and ways to save the bee and agriculture populations. This project determines an estimate of how many feral cats there can be in order to ensure stability for both the bee and feral cat populations. It will also include techniques and actionable steps, in compliance with the law, towards implementing population control measures within the feral cat population. I hope my project gives directionality to the efforts of Trap-Neuter-Release, Trap-and-euthanize, and Trap, Tranquilize, Vaccinate, Alter, Release, Monitor efforts, as well as to cat cafés, adoption centers, and animal rescue programs, in their fight to save the ecosystem, one cat at a time.