App to monitor Delhi’s pollution
Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City’s concrete jungle and some now have a practical purpose: they’re helping curb the city’s rat population. A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. The goal is to return them to their home territory, but some end up in areas rife with rats. Feline rat patrols keep watch over city delis and bodegas, car dealerships and the grounds of a Greenwich Village church. Four cats roam the loading dock at the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre, where food deliveries and garbage have drawn rodents for years. “We used to hire exterminators, but nature has a better solution,” said Rebecca Marshall, the sustainability manager at the centre. “And cats don’t cost anything.” About 6,000 volunteers have completed workshops where they’ve learned proper ways to trap cats. The programme is run through the privatelyfunded Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters. It estimates as many as half a million feral and stray cats roam New York’s five boroughs. In most cases, adoption is out of the question for feral cats because they are just too wild to be domesticated. India’s capital, labouring under the label of being the world’s most polluted city, is trying something new to help clean up its air. A smartphone application that allows residents to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in New Delhi’s public parks to authorities has been launched. The Hawa Badlo, or Change the Air, app has two versions. One allows people to take pictures of likely pollutants. The other allows authorities to investigate. Over the last few years, New Delhi has struggled with ways to handle the pollution, which becomes obvious during the winter months as the city’s air turns to a gray haze. The app was launched by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority.
ON THE HUNT: Feral cat Sylvester