This lawsuit is for the birds.
Piping plovers, a threatened species of birds, are under attack by feral cats at Jones Beach and state parks officials are doing nothing to protect them, a new lawsuit charges.
The American Bird Conservancy is seeking an injunction requiring that the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation take action to remove the cats which pose a threat to piping plovers. There are at least two feral cat colonies at the seashore park — at the West Bathhouse and Field No. 10.
The Long Island Federal Court suit accuses Commissioner Rose Harvey of turning a blind eye to the vulnerable piping plovers population by permitting cat lovers to feed the killer kitties and build makeshift shelters.
Parks officials acknowledged in a March 2015 letter to the nonprofit group that its “goal should be the removal of feral cats within New York State Parks,” but has not taken any action to remove the shelters or feeding stations, the suit states.
The suit contends that through its non-enforcement policy, the state is putting federally protected piping plovers at risk of injury or death which is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
A spokesman for Harvey did not immediately return a call for comment.
Because the feral cats are so agile, the piping plovers are especially vulnerable to these predators, the suit claims.