A single feral cat destroys a colony of endangered birds.

Australia’s WA Today reveals how one stray cat killed 40 chicks and forced a protected bird colony to move elsewhere to try to survive:

The Mandurah fairy tern breeding program has been a long-running project by the City of Mandurah, and chief executive Mark Newman said the colony had since abandoned the estuary as a result of the attacks.

“After numerous attempts to prevent the cat from entering the sanctuary, it was trapped and euthanised,” he said.

“As a result [of the attacks], the fairy terns abandoned the sanctuary – however, it is believed that two surviving juvenile birds successfully fledged a few days ago.

“Our officers, partners and many volunteers put in an enormous effort to help them breed and we are devastated that this has not been completely successful.”

Murdoch University PhD researcher Claire Greenwell, who worked with the Mandurah fairy tern population as a part of her work, confirmed she had observed the colony leave the sanctuary following the incidents.