With a bit of gut-grovelling to get into position, and some exploration with the torch of the dark recesses of the ancient puriri tree, I saw it. A black petrel chick, sitting alone in its nest. If it was a species of duck, it would be a sitting one. It is shockingly vulnerable. There are two places on Great Barrier Island where this critically endangered bird nests. Here, on the Kotuku Peninsula, and also on the slopes of Hirikimata. The difference between the two, however, is that Kotuku is protected by a pestproof fence, whereas the birds on Hirikimata are being munched by feral cats. Which brings us to Gareth Morgan’s campaign. Morgan may be rich. Hell, he may even be bored. But his campaign is reasonable and sensible. The most reasonable and sensible of the proposals is his call for the SPCA to cease neutering and then releasing cats as opposed to euthanising them. The SPCA’s idea is that the ‘managed’ colony into which they are released will eventually die out due to the sterility of the animals, but with up to 10,000 cats coming into the SPCA each year there is a healthy feeder supply, and no amount of educating irresponsible cat owners to neuter their animals is going to adequately reduce that number. The hysterical reaction to this campaign is clouding what should be a reasoned discussion about the best way to preserve our fauna.