You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Environment Southland is proposing changes that will see a ban on all new domestic cats in the seaside community of Omaui, between Invercargill and Bluff, to help protect biodiversity in the area.
The area is home to Department of Conservation scenic reserve land and Invercargill City Council land, attracting native birds including tui, kakariki, kereru (wood pigeons), piwakawaka (fantails) and tomtits.
Biosecurity operations manager Ali Meade said the positive impact on the environment would be huge.
Meade said there would be a number of rules and regulations in place to monitor cat ownership.
Any domestic cat would have to be neutered and micro-chipped, so a list can be kept of who owns cats so they can live out their natural life.
However, people won't be able to replace them.
Meade said trail cameras record cats and the damage they are doing to native flora and fauna.
She said having tui in your garden would more than make up for not being able to own a cat.