HOME | Santa Barbara 12 | Life History | Resources |

Site Map | How to Help | NEWS

World Wildlife News!

 

Wildlife news stories are gathered from around the world from online sources. There's emphasis on endangered or threatened bird species in North America, other than pelicans for which see this site's pelican news. There are also links to interesting stories about various wildlife — and wildland habitat — protection measures, including threats to the Endangered Species Act.

NB: Occasionally, this non-profit site, PelicanLife.org, will edit, with edits marked by ... or :::snip:::, and will provide links or URLs to the original sources. PelicanLife's Wildlife News section's sole purpose is educational, to contribute to education and research. Citations and references should always be to those original sources. Most pieces require permission for copying for other than "fair use" purposes such as here; please contact the original sources for permission.

 

$10,000 REWARD OFFERED but some terns were saved: IBRRC good news

winter, 2006

Recent wildlife news

Click here for recent news about pelicans

A NEW PAGE WEBCAMS OF BIRDS (no pelican webcams, though!)


2004-5 Archives | Arizona Liberty Wildlife new quarters | Avian flu wanes | Avian flu - monitoring | Bald Eagle kill permits | Cutbacks in the NWR | Cassin's Auklet and global warming? | culling cormorants | culling cormorants -Ohio | Flamingos | hunting in NW Refuges | Kenya | Maine tests for avian flu | migration | Nests protected | Piping Plovers - Crane Beach, New Jersey | Prairie Pothole Wetland | recreating wetlands | Salmon - Russia | Sandhill Cranes | seagulls slaughtered in Davenport, CA | | Terns - REWARD | whooping crane in Vermont | Whooping Cranes, 2, 3 | windmills and wildlife | woodpeckers and chain saws | World Heritage island threatened


Tourists Say Livestock Have Replaced Wildlife in Parks

The East African Standard (Nairobi)
October 28, 2006, By Philip Mwakio
The increased numbers of livestock in the Tsavo East National Park is causing discomfort among tourists.

The tourists claim that they only see livestock during the game drives in the park that cost $40 per person. Following the complaints, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) began driving out the livestock from the park.

Tour operators attending a one-day seminar in Mombasa were told that following the drought in several parts of the country last year, hundreds of pastoralists took their livestock to the park for greener pastures.

The Senior Warden of Tsavo East National Park, Mr Julius Cheptei, said that close to 90 per cent of livestock in the drought stricken areas had been taken to Galana ADC ranch.

Despite this, there are still more livestock entering national parks. This is forcing wildlife to retreat deeper into the park.

Copyright © 2006 The East African Standard.


Staff Cutbacks Cripple National Wildlife Refuges

WASHINGTON, DC, October 27, 2006 (ENS) - A federal plan made public Thursday would mothball the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge - established a century ago by President Theodore Roosevelt - and shutter dozens of others across the Southeast, while cutting scores of the refuge personnel.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, the nation's first national wildlife refuge, will lose the staff assigned to working with visitors and eliminate active outreach to the public.

The plan to eliminate the refuge's visitor services is among the cutbacks contained in the new Workforce Management Plan of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Region.

The 128 national wildlife refuges in the Southeast Region support more visitors than those in any other region: more than 11 million visitors annually.

Conservationists say funding to support the 96 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System has reached a crisis point. "Pelican Island is symbolic of our nation's commitment to protect our most critical bird and wildlife habitat," said Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society.

"Sadly, Pelican Island is now a stark example of how Congress and the administration have failed to provide the funding and attention needed to sustain our wildlife legacy," he said.

According to the Workforce Management Plan, the Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Region will eliminate as many as 80 full time refuge employees over the next three years.

The loss of jobs follows the elimination of 64 field positions from 2004-2006 and will result in a 20 percent staffing reduction.

The Southeast Region currently manages nearly 4 million acres in 128 of the nation's 545 national wildlife refuges.

Other cuts included in the Workforce Management Plan: :::snip::: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2006/2006-10-27-09.asp#anchor2 (NB: same issue has a story about botulism in the New York side of Lake Ontario, killing waterbirds.

Δ


Wildlife group to build new center next to zoo

Kate Nolan, The Arizona Republic, Oct. 26, 2006 For 25 years, Liberty Wildlife has asked Valley residents to give their tired, their poor, their flocks and herds of native Arizona wildlife that have wandered off nature's path. Of the 4,000 injured birds, mammals and reptiles the group treats each year, most return to nature.

Soon the wildlife rehabilitation group, the oldest in the Valley, will be asking for more.

Liberty Wildlife breaks ground at 8:30 a.m. today on new headquarters in Papago Park adjacent to the Phoenix Zoo's entrance.

The project cements a partnership that began when zoo veterinarian Dr. Kathy Orr founded Liberty Wildlife in 1981.

Initially housed in Orr's Scottsdale home, the rehabilitation services later took over her garage and now dominate the sprawling 70th Street property. With 300 volunteers, Liberty conducts education, conservation activities and rehabilitation work.

Space has been a concern for the past 10 years, said Liberty director Megan Mosby.

The planned $6.5 million building, designed by RoTo Architects of Los Angeles, promises more of everything, including a special ventilation system for animals. Expanded care areas are expected to swell the number of animals served.

"We'll have a surgical suite, an intensive-care area, a larger nutritional area where the food is prepared, and we'll be able to do on-site educational programming," Mosby said. "The location is more centrally located for people bringing in injured animals."

Made of rammed earth, block and steel construction, the structure will have no "body fat," meaning it will use as little energy and material as possible, said project architect Michael Rotondi, a professor at Arizona State University.

Among the improvements will be a 180-foot free flight area, designed to let eagle-size birds bank turns as if they were in the wild. Before they are released, healed animals will be able to adapt to the climate in outdoor enclosures beneath a sunshade that will look like a bird from above.

The design gives the impression of walls subtly rising out of the earth, but it's still likely to catch the attention of some of the zoo's 1.3 million visitors a year.

Phoenix Zoo chief executive Jeff Williamson sees pluses for zoo attendees in the wildlife building.

"It's not just a structure. They'll see the whole process of rehabilitating wildlife. We hope people will start thinking more about the care of wildlife," Williamson said.

The zoo's "Arizona Trail" exhibit already uses the wildlife group's educational programs; those activities are expected to expand, said Williamson.

Reach the reporter at kate.nolan@arizonarepublic.com. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/1026neliberty1026.html

Δ


World Heritage island threatened by rabbits and rats
19 Oct 2006

Cruise passengers heading south this season will be in for a shock when they see what rabbits, rats and mice have done to one of Australia's World Heritage islands in the Southern Ocean.

Invasive animals have caused extensive damage to sub-Antarctic islands, such as Tasmania's Macquarie Island, and recently entire hill slopes have been denuded by rabbits, leaving seabirds without nesting grasses or shelter from predators.

Macquarie Island, 1500 kilometres south-east of Tasmania in the Southern Ocean, is a breeding ground for about four million seabirds, and provides critical habitat for two threatened albatross species - the wandering and grey-headed albatross. :::snip::: also: BBC article, with photos.

Δ


Climate quirk kills thousands of birds off Vancouver Island
Chicks starve to death after hungry adults abandon nests

Margaret Munro, CanWest News Service — Monday, October 16, 2006

Hundreds of thousands of Cassin's Auklet chicks starved to death last year on Triangle Island, their fluffy corpses left to litter the largest bird colony on Canada's West Coast.

The 40,000 auklets on the craggy Farallon Islands west of San Francisco also had an "unprecedented breeding failure" and abandoned their nests en masse, say scientists who are now linking the 2005 disaster at the colonies to a strange quirk in the climate off Alaska.

An "anomaly" in the Gulf of Alaska affected the jet stream and may have been responsible for delaying the upwelling of nutrient-rich ocean waters that fuel production of krill and other key foods for seabirds from British Columbia south to California, a team of U.S. and Canadian scientists report in the Geophysical Research Letters this week.

The adult auklets, unable to find enough to eat, cut their losses and abandoned their nests.

"The whole colony just felt like a morgue," says biologist Mark Hipfner, of the Canadian Wildlife Service, who watched the failure unfold on Triangle Island off the B.C. coast.

Close to one million Cassin's Auklets flock to the island each year, making it by far the largest breeding colony for the birds in the world.

"I've seen it bad before, but I've never seen it that bad," says Hipfner, who recalls the "eerie silence" on the colony that is normally "deafening."

Within days of hatching, the chicks were abandoned in their burrows by parents who couldn't find enough food to feed their young.

Auklets are dark, chunky seabirds that weigh about as much as a robin. They are incredible flying machines travelling up to 50 kilometres a day to and from feeding grounds during breeding season, says Hipfner, who directs seabird research and monitoring on Triangle.

But the auklets are so sensitive to climate changes they are like "sentinels" or canaries in the coalmine, Hipfner and his U.S. colleagues say in the new report.

The 2005 breeding failure highlights how anomalies in the climate can hit the bottom of the food web and then reverberate all the way up.

While the auklets showed the most dramatic and immediate effects, the scientists say the lack of krill likely impacted everything from salmon to whales.

There are fears global warming will eventually wipe out the seabird colonies.

"What we are concerned about is that events like we saw last year are going to become more frequent because of climate change," Hipfner says. "That's what we're really worried about."

The Forallones off California had another breeding failure this year, which has some scientists wondering if serious change is already underway.

The auklets on Triangle Island had a "reasonably good year" with more than half the 500,000 breeding pairs rearing chicks this summer, says Hipfner.

But the continuing problems in the U.S could affect the auklets that breed in Canada because the birds over winter off the California coast.

The forecast is calling for an El Nino this winter, and the biologists hope it is a mild one.

"I don't think the birds need two big hits in three years," says Hipfner. "That would be tough."

Strong El Ninos warm waters along the Pacific coast and were tied to die-offs of auklets chicks in 1998 and 1983. But the 2005 breeding failure was the worst on record and came without warning -- and without El Nino. These scientists suggest it was tied to the "unusual atmospheric blocking" in the Gulf of Alaska last May that caused the jet stream to shift southwards.

The resulting reduction in wind from the north may be what prevented the usual upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water that fuels production of krill and plankton.

Hipfner likens the upwelling of nutrients to "putting gasoline" in a car engine. "If you don't get that fueling in late winter and early spring you don't get plankton production and the whole system comes to a standstill," he says.

The conditions along the Pacific coast returned to normal by June last year, but the damage was already done.

"Even though the oceanographic conditions returned to normal, this shift apparently came too late to support additional reproductive attempts by the birds," the researchers report.

While abandoning chicks sounds harsh, such strategies are essential to the long-term survival of the colonies, says Hipfner.

"The key if you are a Cassin's Auklet is not so much to raise a chick each year as it to make sure you survive," he says. "The key is not to risk too much in one go."
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2006
Copyright © 2006 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved. http://tinyurl.com/yzmdtd

Δ


October 15, 2006
Salmon Find an Ally in the Far East of Russia
By C. J. CHIVERS

UTKHOLOK RIVER BIOLOGICAL STATION, Russia — The wild salmon still rush the dark Utkholok and other rivers here in Kamchatka, one of the last salmon strongholds on earth. They surge in spring and come in pulses for months, often side by side in run after run.

All six native species of Pacific salmon remain abundant on this eastern Russian peninsula, scientists say, appearing by the tens of millions to spawn in its free-running watersheds. Even in October’s chill they come: coho and a trickle of sockeye, mixed with sea-run trout and char.

Now, in a nation with a dreary environmental record that is engaged in a rush to extract its resources, the peninsula’s governments are at work on proposals that would designate seven sprawling tracts of wilderness as salmon-protected areas, a network of refuges for highly valuable fish that would be the first of its kind.

Encompassing nine entire rivers and more than six million acres, the protected watersheds would exceed the scale of many renowned preserved areas in the United States. Together they would be more than four times the size of the Everglades, nearly triple that of Yellowstone National Park and slightly larger than the Adirondack Park, which is often referred to as the largest protected area in the lower United States.

These areas would be protected from most development, the government of Kamchatka says. Their purpose would be to produce wild salmon — for food, profit, recreation and scientific study, and as a genetic reserve of one of the world’s most commercially and culturally important fish. :::snip:::

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/15/world/europe/15salmon.html

Δ


Famous flamingos leave Kenya lake
By Wanyama wa Chebusiri

Kenya's Lake Nakuru is in danger of losing its famous pink shores to environmental degradation and pollution.

Located in a closed basin in Kenya's Rift Valley region, the shallow salty Lake Nakuru is a unique tourist destination.

The lake is world famous for its flocks of flamingo, which literally turn its shores pink.

The elegant birds are the main attraction for tourists visiting the surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park.

But this site, which provides tourists with one of Kenya's best known images, is on the verge of disappearing.

Scarce times
Environmental experts are warning that the lake, which is home to millions of flamingos in their natural habitation, may dry up due to constant destruction of catchment areas and massive pollution.

Alice Kahihia, a scientist based at the lake explained, "The level of water has drastically receded. It has reduced by about 300m."

Flamingos flock to Lake Nakuru to feed on algae that forms on the lake's bed.

However, according to a government study, flamingos are now migrating elsewhere due to a scarcity of algae caused by the drop in water levels.

The study also revealed that thousands of flamingos died after consuming toxic waste spilling into the lake from the nearby town of Nakuru.

Less birds, less bookings

This trend has alarmed hoteliers in the area who depend heavily on tourists.

The manager of Sarova tourist resort in Nakuru town, John Njoroge, said: "It is obviously very bad news for people in the hotel industry, such as ourselves, because when the shoreline recedes, it means you have less flamingos.

"Once you have less flamingos, or none at all, it will mean visitors will cancel their bookings.

"And we will suffer."

Early this year, the government's move to forcefully evict squatters from water catchment areas in the region was heavily criticised by civil society groups and local politicians as an abuse of human rights.

Lake Nakuru is one of the leading tourism income earners for the government, generating some $1.3m (£700,000) per month.

Against this background a conservation lobby group, Friends of Lake Nakuru, has embarked on a diplomatic mission to save the lake and the precious birds.

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/5405468.stm Published: 2006/10/04 23:45:58 GMT © BBC MMVI

Δ


Shorebird ranks up despite challenges
October 2, 2006 •• 677 words •• ID: asb54731381
The Jersey Shore's beleaguered population of piping plovers rose modestly to 116 pairs this year, but the endangered species did not have a good year in producing chicks that could fly, according to officials. "Statewide, predation was by far the leading cause of nest failure this year," said Todd Pover of the state Department of Environmental Protection. Red foxes and laughing gulls were key predators, and coastal flooding was a factor, :::snip::: (archived article available for purchase at the Asbury Park Press.)

All content copyrighted Asbury Park Press: <http://tinyurl.com/yn44gw>


 

Whooping Cranes will be flying from Necedah NWR to Florida, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Photo in Sunday's, 10/1, NYTimes, page A 14; and here's a link to the 2000 NYT article on the flight.

Check out the great pictures from Patuxent, the whooping crane report.

Note also this blog entry and comments on the trivial punishment two Kansans received for killing two whooping cranes, in the mistaken stated belief they were Sandhills. (Why would anyone want to kill a Sandhill?)

Reposted here is Mark Chenoweth's comment and his link to: http://whitebirds.libsyn.org/ for a podcast of what is happening in the whooper world

Considering that it costs somewhere near $80,000 in donations and sponsor support and grants to hatch, raise and train a young Whooping crane to be a part of the new Eastern Introduced flock that Operation Migration has been doing for the last 6 years, and that the state of Texas values a Whooper at around $5200, these guys DID get off easy! Both birds were found alive, but died in spite of the efforts of nearby university vet med staff to save them. Both birds were males.

Indeed, if you are a hunter and DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SHOOTING AT, simply DON'T SHOOT! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this!

I took the licensing test that the state of Kansas gives to hunters... it is almost impossible to discern a gray bird from a WHITE bird after sunset or near sunrise! The light just doesn't make it easy! And they know this, but the state makes big $$ from licenses!

They should ban such hunts in the flyway areas where Whooping cranes are known to pass, and give the poor Sandhills a break!

Extinction is FOREVER, and there are still less than 215 wild Whoopers alive in the world today!

Find your sport somewhere else!

If you are a Whooper or crane fan, check out what is happening on Whooper Happenings (podcast) at: http://whitebirds.libsyn.org .

Some of us give too much in support and resources to want this sort of waste to those few rare birds that remain!

Mankind killed off the billions of Passenger Pigeons that once flew all over North America! It was a classic case of man's greed and stupidity! Support for those birds came way too late, and no one since nearly a century ago has even seen a living Passenger nor ever will again!

Think... extinction is FOREVER!

Δ


Bad karma for the chain-saw-toting residents of southeast North Carolina!

Rare Woodpecker Sends a Town Running for Its Chain Saws
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 24, 2006

BOILING SPRING LAKES, N.C., Sept. 23 (AP) — Over the past six months, landowners here have been clear-cutting thousands of trees to keep them from becoming homes for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

The chain saws started in February, when the federal Fish and Wildlife Service put Boiling Spring Lakes on notice that rapid development threatened to squeeze out the woodpecker.

The agency issued a map marking 15 active woodpecker “clusters,” and announced it was working on a new one that could potentially designate whole neighborhoods of this town in southeastern North Carolina as protected habitat, subject to more-stringent building restrictions.

Hoping to beat the mapmakers, landowners swarmed City Hall to apply for lot-clearing permits. Treeless land, after all, would not need to be set aside for woodpeckers. Since February, the city has issued 368 logging permits, a vast majority without accompanying building permits.

The results can be seen all over town. Along the roadsides, scattered brown bark is all that is left of pine stands. Mayor Joan Kinney has watched with dismay as waterfront lots across from her home on Big Lake have been stripped down to sandy wasteland.

“It’s ruined the beauty of our city,” Ms. Kinney said. To stop the rash of cutting, city commissioners have proposed a one-year moratorium on lot-clearing permits.

The red-cockaded woodpecker was once abundant in the vast longleaf pine forests that stretched from New Jersey to Florida, but now numbers as few as 15,000. The bird is unusual among North American woodpeckers because it nests exclusively in living trees.

In a quirk of history, human activity has made this town of about 4,100 almost irresistible to the bird.

Long before there was a town, locals carved V-shaped notches in the pines, collecting the sap in buckets to make turpentine. These wounds allowed fungus to infiltrate the tree’s core, making it easier for the woodpecker to excavate its nest hole and probe for the beetles, spiders and wood-boring insects it prefers.

“And, voilà! You have a perfect woodpecker habitat,” said Dan Bell, project director for the Nature Conservancy in nearby Wilmington.

The woodpecker gouges a series of holes around the tree, creating “sap runs” to discourage the egg-gobbling black snake, the bird’s chief enemy. Because it can take up to six years to excavate a single nest hole, the birds fiercely defend their territory, said Susan Miller, a biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service. “They’re passed from generation to generation, because it’s such a major investment in time to create one cavity,” Ms. Miller said.

Like the woodpeckers, humans are also looking to defend their nest eggs.

Bonner Stiller has been holding on to two wooded half-acre lakefront lots for 23 years. He stripped both lots of longleaf pines before the government could issue its new map.

“They have finally developed a value,” said Mr. Stiller, a Republican member of the state General Assembly. “And then to have that taken away from you?”

Landowners have overreacted, says Pete Benjamin, supervisor of the federal agency’s Raleigh office.

Having a woodpecker tree on a piece of property does not necessarily mean a house cannot be built there, Mr. Benjamin said. A landowner can even get permission to cut down a cavity tree, as long as an alternative habitat can be found.

“For the most part, we’ve found ways to work with most folks,” he said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/us/24woodpecker.html

Δ


Rocky Mountain News
Gerhardt: Whooping cranes create two whopper anecdotes

September 2, 2006

Of all the birds I've worked around, few fascinated me more - or got me in more trouble - than the whooping crane.

At one time back in the 1980S, there was a small "insurance flock" that passed through Colorado on its way between Gray's Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.:::snip:::http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/recreation/article/0,1299,DRMN_7_4963926,00.html

Δ


The horizon beckons across the species
Saturday, September 2, 2006

The sandhill cranes are getting ready for their annual flight south.

Here in northern climes of Yellowstone, the cranes are the picture of nuclear family bliss. They arrive in spring already paired, but take nothing for granted. After several days of noisily chatting about the flight north with their traveling companions, the couples go off by themselves for a graceful dancing ritual that lasts for hours.

When the young come along, Ma and Pa are perfect parents, first feeding the little ones in the nest, then teaching them how to fend for themselves.

By this time of year, the youngsters are so big, it's hard to tell them from the adults. All summer the cranes have been fairly quiet unless they were flying, but now they seem unable to contain their excitement over their forthcoming Mexico sojourn. Swan Lake Flat is abuzz with crane chatter.

The cranes are not alone. A couple of weeks ago I was down on the Madison River where it spreads before joining the Jefferson and Galatin rivers to become the Missouri. There I watched white pelicans in formation ride a thermal to gain enough altitude to soar west over the crest of the Rockies and on to coastal estuaries.

While out hiking this week we also noticed flocked-up juncos and bluebirds. And I saw Canada geese swimming lazily on the pool of Half Century geyser. The itch for new horizons appears to be in the air.

Migration. What a fascinating commitment of energy.

Arctic terns span the globe, flying from the Arctic to the Antarctic in fall and back in the spring. And across from our house, the Mammoth campground is no longer filled with giant RVs. Even at $3-plus a gallon for gas, they're out on the road heading south.

The ground squirrels are already down for the season, and the beasts that don't sleep in seem to be packing. I don't know what triggers this urge. Days are getting shorter and overnight temperatures are slipping, but daytime temps are still in the mid-80s. Whatever the signal is, all creatures great and small have gotten the message.

It's not just Yellowstone, either. If you cast your eyes bayward over the next several months, you'll see an amazing array of strange water birds. The white pelicans I saw over the Madison may be right there on San Francisco bay, herding little fish into dense, harvestable schools, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of the bay's winter ospreys screech with a Yellowstone accent.

In the waters off the old Alameda Naval Air Station, you'll find common loons, rooster-size black and white birds with bright red eyes that are more often associated with haunting calls on secluded misty mountain lakes.

Where would whale watching, the only bright spot in the Bay Area's small-boat economy, be if gray whales didn't feed in the cold, upwelling waters off Alaska, then migrate south past San Francisco to give birth in shallow Mexican lagoons?

The wanderlust also attacks monarch and painted lady butterflies, ladybird beetles and all sorts of other insects. And it is these insects that really puzzle the scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of migration.

The monarch butterfly flies south, lays its eggs and ends its earthly days in a Mexican rain forest. The monarch that flies north is from a new generation hatched from those eggs. It has never seen the territory it passes over. And the monarch that flies south the next year is from yet another generation.

Incredible. Is there some sort of map imprinted in the monarch's genes? How do they find their way? No one knows.

But then, no one knows for sure how the cranes find their way either. The cranes migrate in a noisy flock. Maybe they chatter about what they see far below. Maybe they have internal compasses. It seems a stretch to imagine that they can read the stars, but perhaps they can orient themselves to the sun.

If I could speak crane, I would ask. I think I've been infected by them. This year the schoolmarm and Digger will follow the cranes out of Yellowstone. Why? It's just part of the mystery. New, unexplored horizons, I reckon, and new puzzles to wonder over and share. It's time. When we slithered out of our sleeping bags this last week, there was already frost on the ground. Best we go now while we still can.

Freelance writer "Digger'' Jerry George sends his journal "letters'' home to the Bay Area from Yellowstone National Park -- or wherever he happens to be observing nature. E-mail him at home@sfchronicle.com.

Page F - 8 URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/09/02/HOGRUKS76O1.DTL
©2006 San Francisco Chronicle

Δ



Judge says wildlife refuge hunts illegal
2006/9

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer 23 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Dozens of wildlife refuges could be closed to hunters after a federal judge ruled that the government never considered the consequences of steadily expanding hunting rights for six years.

While the agency studied the consequences of opening each refuge to hunters, Urbina said officials had a responsibility to look at the effects systemwide.

President Theodore Roosevelt began the wildlife refuge system in 1903, setting aside a tiny island off the east coast of Florida to protect pelicans and other birds from hunters. The system now includes more than 535 refuges where wildlife and its habitat are protected.

While Urbina said in Thursday‘s ruling that wildlife officials violated the law, he stopped short of overturning the hunting rules and asked attorneys for both sides to propose solutions.

"At this point there hasn‘t been any indication anything is going to change immediately," spokesman David Eisenhauer said. "It‘s a little early to say what‘s going to happen."

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.http://www.newsone.ca/westfallweeklynews/ViewArticle.aspx?id=3406&source=2

Δ


Rare tern colony decimated
IFAW offers $10,000 reward after 500+ baby terns wash up dead in Long Beach


O n June 28, reports of dead baby terns on the shores of Long Beach sent wildlife rescue professionals and vets from the nearby International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) to investigate. What they found was shocking and horrifying. An estimated 300-500 baby terns, some only a day old, were dead in the surf, and littering the beach. 13 live baby terns were found and rushed to intensive care at IBRRC’s center in San Pedro. The baby birds drowned because they had not yet grown enough feathers and could not float, or fly.
tern photo

One of the surviving Elegant Tern. (IBRRC photo)
The next night, Thursday, June 29, a second barge the terns were nesting on was moved. On Friday morning hundreds more dead and dying tern babies littered the same beach. A total of 24 baby terns were rescued alive. One had to be euthanized because it had a broken wing. 405 dead birds were collected and are being kept as evidence.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has posted a $10,000 reward. Anyone with information that may help investigators should call Special Agent Erin Dean at 310-328-1516.
IFAW and IBRRC work closely in partnership responding to oil spills and other disasters that affect animals around the world. IFAW also donated $5,000 to help defray the cost of the long term care of the survivors.

Approximately 2,000 Elegant and Caspian terns nested in a breeding colony near Long Beach. The colony has been a tourist attraction in the area and was known for its status as the northern-most colony of terns. Terns are migratory birds that winter in Central and South America and breed mostly on small islands off the coast of Baja California.

http://www.ibrrc.org/tern_reward.html

July 1, From the Los Angeles Times
More Dead Terns Wash Up on Long Beach Shoreline
The birds, which were nesting on one or two barges, may have been deliberately swept away. :::snip:::

Δ


Sea defences sacrificed for a wildlife sanctuary
By Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter
FLOOD defences were torn down yesterday to allow the North Sea to swallow a chunk of the Essex coast and create the biggest man-made saltmarsh in Europe.
The Wallasea saltmarsh will be a sanctuary for wildlife and has been created as compensation for the loss of similar habitat elsewhere on the coast.

It will take up to five years for the marsh and mudflats to attract all the plants and animals associated with such habitat but the first birds and marine creatures were already in residence last night.

Avocets were among the first to make use of the new saltmarsh as the tide flowed in yesterday afternoon and they are expected to be quickly followed by a range of other seabirds, fish, and molluscs.
Allowing the sea to encroach at Wallasea is in line with government policy on letting coastlines recede and minimising the cost of defences in the face of rising sea levels.
:::snip:::

Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2256423,00.html

Δ


Whooping Cranes Hatch Two Chicks in Wis.
Pair of Whooping Cranes Hatch Two Chicks in the Wild in Central Wisconsin

By JAMES A. CARLSON Associated Press Writer; ABC News
 
MILWAUKEE - A pair of whooping cranes has hatched two chicks in central Wisconsin, marking the first young of the species to be hatched in the wild in the eastern United States in more than 100 years.
That makes about two dozen young cranes including the first three conceived in the wild that will be added this year in the effort to establish a second migratory flock of the endangered birds in North America.
:::snip:::

On the Net: Operation Migration: http://www.operationmigration.org/
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2121604

Δ


Piping plovers begin to hatch
By Natalie Miller/ natalie.miller@cnc.com
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Two piping plover eggs that survived a vandal attack on Crane Breach have hatched and the chicks are doing well.
Two other eggs in the batch were destroyed over Memorial Day weekend when a nest of piping plover eggs in Essex Point was vandalized. Two of the eggs being housed in a metal exclosure were taken out and smashed.
This has been a slower than normal season for breeding piping plovers because of the weather and the activity of animal and human predators, but Ipswich resident and ecologist Franz Ingelfinger is still hopeful and said a number of nests are expected to hatch by the Fourth of July.
:::snip:::

© Copyright of CNC and Herald Interactive Advertising Systems, Inc.
http://www2.townonline.com/ipswich/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=521706&format=&page=1

Δ


MAINE BEGINS TESTING MIGRATORY BIRDS FOR AVIAN FLU
June 15, 2006
BANGOR, Maine --Wildlife biologists have begun testing migratory birds in Maine for avian influenza as part of a national readiness program to detect the deadly virus.
So far, most of Maine's bird flu monitoring has focused on state's commercial poultry flocks. But in the past week, biologists have started testing Arctic terns, common eiders and black guillemots; they also plan to test Canada geese and other types of waterfowl.
The H5N1 avian influenza strain has devastated poultry flocks in Southeast Asia and killed several dozen people worldwide since it first appeared in Hong Kong in 1997. No one knows when or if it will arrive on U.S. shores, but if it comes on the wings of a migratory bird, experts want to know early on.
For the testing program in Maine, the birds will be captured, swabbed and released unharmed, said Michael Schummer, a wildlife biologist and game bird specialist with the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The swab samples will be sent to laboratories for testing for any of the dozens of bird flu strains typically found in wild populations.
"When we send these to the lab, we will likely get some positives for avian influenza, but it probably will not be H5N1," Schummer said.

Nationally, all four major migratory bird "flyways" in the United States are being monitored for signs of bird flu, said Christopher Brand, chief of research at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.
Alaska, which is at the crossroads of bird migration flyways, has been testing since 1998.
Brand said 75,000 to 100,000 bird, water and environmental samples will be tested in 2006.

"What we are trying to do is detect it early," Brand said.
In Maine, the state Center for Disease Control has also opened its seasonal hot line for residents to call and report dead birds in an effort to track West Nile virus and other diseases carried by birds. It can also be used in the detection of avian flu.
The agency is encouraging people to call its dead-bird reporting line at (888) 697-5846. In some cases, health officials will collect the birds for testing.
The line has operated seasonally since 2000. The state last year identified 22 birds that were carrying West Nile Virus and a dozen more that had eastern equine encephalitis.
West Nile can be carried in infected birds, and then transmitted through mosquitoes that bite the birds.
------
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com <http://tinyurl.com/oj83b>
© Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Δ


Why are the six not charged with violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act? Gulls are protected species!

(06-13) 07:42 PDT Davenport, Calif. (AP) (Davenport is north of Santa Cruz, CA)
Six men who allegedly shot and killed seagulls were cited for alleged poaching, using firearms illegally and littering.
Armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and two handguns, the men shot wildlife and empty beer bottles Sunday at a remote beach north of Davenport, the state Department of Fish and Game said.
Four gulls and a crab were killed. It is legal to harvest crabs with nets or traps and a permit, but shooting them with a shotgun blast is illegal.
Six men were cited on suspicion of poaching or using firearms illegally and two warrant arrests were made, fish and game Lt. Don Kelly said. The names of those cited and arrested weren't released.
"These guys just went out to shoot them and kill them," Kelly said.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/06/12/state/n065830D42.DTL&type=health

(We at PelicanLife will follow this case and report on it here. Cruelty such as this deserves punishment so as to deter others. Seagulls are protected by law.)

Δ


Revised permit process sought for bald eagle kills
Posted: June 05, 2006
by: The Associated PressJACKSON, Wyo. (AP) -

The Northern Arapaho Tribe and a man accused of
shooting a bald eagle on the Wind River Indian Reservation say the federal
government should make it easier for American Indians to apply to kill bald
eagles for use in religious ceremonies.

The tribe has filed a brief in the case of Winslow Friday, who allegedly
shot the eagle without a permit in March 2005, and planned to make its
arguments before U.S. District Judge William Downes on May 22.
The case moves forward as the federal government considers removing
protections for bald eagles as a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking public comments on the proposal through June 19.
Federal law allows enrolled tribal members to get a permit to kill bald
eagles in certain cases. But Friday and the Northern Arapaho say there is no
clear way to apply for the permit. They also say the bald eagle population
in Wyoming and other states has grown large enough to enable some of the
birds to be killed with little harm to the species.


In the federal government's response, assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart Healy
said allowing people to shoot eagles without
permission would undermine the current balance between preservation and
religious freedom.


Healy argued that there was no evidence Friday was selected to hunt an eagle
or that he had purified himself prior to shooting the eagle. Purification is
said to be necessary for the eagle to be used in a ceremony, Healy wrote.

Also, it was noted that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a
repository in Denver of eagles shot illegally or killed by cars or power
lines. Friday and the Northern Arapaho say relying on the eagle repository
results in long delays and that those eagles can't be used in some
traditional ceremonies.

If convicted, Friday faces up to a year in jail and a fine up to $100,000.

Bald eagles were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1978. They were
reclassified from endangered to threatened in 1995 and the Fish and Wildlife
Service now estimates that more than 7,700 nesting pairs of bald eagles
inhabit the lower 48 states.


Even if bald eagles were removed from Endangered Species Act protection,
they would continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection
Act.
© 1998 - 2006 Indian Country Today <http://www.indiancountry.com/>

Δ


On the flu-way?
John Driscoll The Times-Standard
Eureka Times Standard
Agencies to monitor geese, brant for bird flu signs on Pacific flyway
As international health authorities investigate bird flu infection in Indonesia, wildlife managers on the West Coast are beginning to keep an eye on wild birds as possible couriers of the virus to the United States.
They intend to begin sampling birds in California this year, and two of the more visible visitors to Humboldt County are on the list: black brant and Aleutian cackling geese.
Aleutian geese number about 100,000, and are among the birds that have direct or indirect contact with migratory birds from Asia.
A conference of scientists called to Rome by the United Nations this week agreed that wild birds will continue to move the H5N1 virus over vast distances. It's unclear if migrating wild birds are, or could become, a permanent reservoir for the virus. But if they are, they could keep moving the virus around for a long time.

Wild birds are not the main conduit of the virus -- that happens mostly through legal and illegal poultry trading. And while an enormous number of people have been exposed to the bird flu virus through poultry over 50 countries in the past decade, fewer than 500 cases have been reported and fewer than 200 people killed. By contrast, about 36,000 people die from seasonal flu in the United States each year.

That said, scientists are concerned that the virus' wide distribution could create a pandemic if it mutates into a strain that passes easily from human to human. Health officials in Indonesia are watching closely the family and friends of a woman who apparently became infected through sick chickens, and appears to have subsequently exposed her kin.

Both Aleutian geese, which nest on the windswept Aleutian Islands off Alaska, and black brant migrate along the Pacific flyway that intersects with other flyways that stretch into Asia. The birds stop over in the Humboldt Bay region to feed on pastures and eel grass.
”Alaska is seen as a potential bridge,” said Dan Yparraguirre, a senior biologist with the California Department of Fish and Game.

So as part of a national strategic plan to detect when the virus arrives in the United States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state health and wildlife agencies plan to test birds as they migrate south from nesting areas. Annual marking of the birds, and tests on birds killed by hunters, are an efficient means of doing that.

The draft plan anticipates that if H5N1 does show up in North America, it will rapidly spread. If it does, the plan envisions testing waterfowl and parks and lakes in close proximity to human populations.
The California Department of Health Services is also developing a plan to deal with a possible pandemic. That plan says that experts estimate that 25 percent of Californians could become ill, and as many as 35,000 could die. The department is trying to get the message out early.
Dr. Ben Sun, the state public health veterinarian with the health services department, said people handling poultry or wild birds shot in the field can take basic hygienic measures to prevent the risk of exposure to bird flu. That includes thoroughly cooking birds, wearing rubber gloves when cleaning birds and washing one's hands after handling birds.
”I think in general people should have some concerns and pay attention ... but at this point in time the avian influenza virus is not efficiently being transmitted,” Sun said. :::snip:::

http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_3891463

Δ


30 May 2006
Legislation to protect wild birds comes into force in England and Wales

Certain wild birds will receive increased protection under new legislation which will come into force on Wednesday.
The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act creates a new offence of taking, damaging or destroying the nests of the golden eagle, white-tailed eagle and osprey at any time during the year.
Biodiversity Minister Barry Gardiner said: "As the law currently stands, all birds' nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, but only while they are in use or are being built.
"Protecting the nests of these birds year round will greatly assist their long-term breeding success by protecting their nests outside their usual breeding season.

"While the golden eagle and osprey are rare residents of England and Wales, it is increasingly likely that more breeding pairs will become resident, as they are all subject to re-introduction or re-establishment programmes and there is every likelihood that the white-tailed eagle will extend its range into England in the near future."
Mr Gardiner also said that the Act contains further provisions introducing enhanced powers for wildlife inspectors and the police under wildlife and conservation legislation to allow them to operate more effectively in protecting wildlife.
He said: "By enhancing and widening the enforcement provisions already contained in the 1981 Act and providing an extension to the time limit to bring about legal proceedings, we are ensuring that wildlife crime can be effectively investigated and that offenders can be prosecuted."

Welsh Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside, Carwyn Jones, said: "Our rich and varied wildlife are an important part of our natural environment. These new laws will ensure our wildlife get greater protection so that they continue to thrive and can be enjoyed by future generations."
Two provisions providing further protection for Sites of Special Scientific Interest will also come into effect on Wednesday.
The provisions will apply to England and Wales.
http://www.4ni.co.uk/news.asp?id=52008

Δ


Prairie Pothole Wetland

Living on Earth, Air Date: Week of May 26, 2006
Spring comes alive in central North Dakota, near the Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Nature recordist and photographer Lang Elliott gives Living on Earth host Steve Curwood a tour of a cattail marsh and the birds we’re likely to find there.

Marvelous recordings of marsh birds:.<http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00021&segmentID=4>

Δ


State can hunt cormorants at Grand Lake St. Marys
By Jim Morris, Dayton Daily News

"We have permission to kill up to 130 birds, but we have to go no lower than 15 nesting pairs," said Dave Kohler, district wildlife supervisor. "We haven't killed any so far, because we are trying to see how many cormorant pairs we do have there."
State agencies are regulated in the number of double-crested cormorants they destroy because the large black birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. That's why the feds are involved, assessing individual situations and deciding when cormorant problems become severe, all the while protecting the species from extinction.

Cormorant numbers, however, seem to be going up all over the Great Lakes region. Most anglers would like to see the cormorant populations wiped out. Since they eat fish, cormorants can a have devastating effect on a lake's fish population, as demonstrated by an area of Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Lake Huron.
But more than what they eat, it's what they do to vegetation with their droppings that has become a problem no matter where they nest. Ohio biologists have permission to kill all cormorants nesting on Green Island on Lake Erie because of the destruction of rare plant life. And they have killed many that have caused great damage to Lake Erie's West Sister Island and the huge blue heron rookery there.
District 5 officials are concerned about the blue heron rookery on Grand Lake St. Marys, as well. When cormorants nest among the herons, their droppings destroy the trees and not only force out the herons, but make it difficult to control the cormorant population. It becomes impossible to oil eggs from the air since the herons would be affected. Oiling eggs destroys them and is often a good way to control bird populations.
Wildlife officials also do not want to see cormorants nesting at Grand Lake because of the adverse effect they have on the fish hatchery there. Although the hatchery has its own permit to kill cormorants, the fewer in the area the better.
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/daily/0525jmor.html

Δ


Impact on Wildlife a Part of Wind Power Debate
Posted 5/25/2006 06:00 AM
Some industry officials speak out against three-year pre-construction monitoring period.

Are birds and bats in Appalachia a state-level issue or a national issue when it comes to siting wind generation facilities?
The question is yet to be resolved in the shadow of bird and bat kills at the state's one operating wind generation facility, the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center in Tucker County.

The Appalachian corridor is a major migratory flyway, according to Dan Boone, wildlife biologist and policy analyst.
"The eastern U.S. has a much higher level of migration than the midwest or the west," Boone said.

Boone counters those who are inclined to dismiss the issue as an environmental rant aimed at stopping development. He said birds and bats provide essential environmental services: Just as deer populations exploded in the absence of wolves, populations of disease-spreading mosquitos, for example, could explode without bats to control them.
As it stands now, the responsibility for considering the siting of proposed wind generation projects rests fully with the state Public Service Commission.

The PSC seeks a year of pre-construction monitoring for birds and bats and then considers the data under consultation with the state Division of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to Jim Ellars, chief utilities manager in the commission's engineering division.
"We discuss these projects with them on an informal level, and they routinely send us information and input on their concerns," Ellars said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a full three years of pre-construction monitoring before a siting decision is made for areas with high concentrations of nocturnal migrants. That potentially could include the entire Appalachian range.
But those in the industry say "it's only a recommendation," and no one follows it.

"I don't know of a wind project in the U.S. that's done three years of pre-construction monitoring," said David Groberg, project developer for the 124-turbine installation Beech Ridge Energy LLC proposes in Greenbrier County.
"I think a requirement to do three years of pre-construction monitoring would shut down the industry for three years -- and provide scientific information of questionable value," Groberg said.

"If you talk to people who understand this issue, they'll agree that what's needed right now is not a moratorium," he said. "What's needed is more study: We don't understand the issue."
If its Greenbrier County facility is permitted, Beech Ridge Energy plans to test operational strategies for minimizing bird and bat kills during its first three years of operation.
"Most mortality seems to be occurring at very low wind speeds," he said by way of example. "When you raise the minimum wind speed at which the turbines start making electricity and as a result at which the blades start turning, does that minimize mortality? ... Maybe we can reduce mortality but only miss as little of the wind as possible."
But wildlife biologist Boone, who has followed the development of wind energy in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, would like to see the USFWS pre-construction monitoring recommendations followed.
"I want to see wind energy adequately evaluated and appropriately sited," Boone said.
"There are some really good places we could put wind that would have low impacts," he added. "I think we need to tackle our energy policy not on a state-by-state basis ... but on a national basis."

In fact, the issue is under national-level consideration. The National Research Council, under congressional mandate, is conducting a study aimed at integrating environmental impacts into siting decisions for wind generation facilities.
Committee members can't discuss the study until it's complete. But at least five of the committee's 16 members have expertise in birds or bats, and the committee seems to be studying the issue in detail.
"I can tell you that some of the factors that one would need to worry about are when do the birds migrate, what altitude do they migrate at, what kind of weather do they migrate in and how does that interact with the placement and activity of wind turbines," said study director David Policansky.

The committee's report is due out in December. Although its recommendations will not be binding, Policansky said, "People take us more seriously than they take other groups."
Story by Pam Kasey; http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=11138&catid=165

Δ


May 14, 2006
Avian Flu Wanes in Asian Nations It First Hit Hard
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr
.
Even as it crops up in the far corners of Europe and Africa, the virulent bird flu that raised fears of a human pandemic has been largely snuffed out in the parts of Southeast Asia where it claimed its first and most numerous victims.
Health officials are pleased and excited. "In Thailand and Vietnam, we've had the most fabulous success stories," said Dr. David Nabarro, chief pandemic flu coordinator for the United Nations. :::snip:::
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/14/world/asia/14flu.html?ex=1147838400&en=f7ac16aede8abbc3&ei=5087%0A

Δ


Rare Whooping Crane makes second appearance in Vermont

May 12, 2006

ADDISON, Vt. --A whooping crane flew off its migration path and landed in Vermont for the second year in a row this spring.

The bird, who was accompanied by a younger crane, was caught and flown to Wisconsin where the rare birds usually spend the summer. They migrate to Florida for the winter.

Efforts are being made to restore and stabilize the declining whooping crane population. Only about 400 birds exist in the wild and most have been banded so they can be located electronically.

Whooping Crane No. 309 who has visited Vermont has problems navigating, according to Liz Condie of Operation Migration, an organize that cares for whooping cranes.

The bird visited the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison County in June. It then migrated to North Carolina, where it was caught and taken by airplane to Florida.

It wasn't the first time the young bird had flown off track. The 3-year-old female whooping crane also has spent summers in Michigan and New York.

Last month No. 309 landed in Dead Creek for a second time, this time with another whooping crane.

A person wearing a crane disguise coaxed the birds into a trap. The cranes were then flown to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, where No 309 will summer for the first time where she is supposed to be.

------Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2006/05/12/rare_whooping_crane_makes_second_appearance_in_vermont/

Δ


Bye, bye birdies: DNR launches a crackdown on cormorants
Bill Lueders on Tue, 05/09/2006 - 1:30pm.
Sarah Meadows isn't saying the state Department of Natural Resources' plan to limit the reproduction of double-crested cormorants is a bad idea. But the UW-Madison graduate student, who for the last two years has been conducting a DNR-funded study of the birds' diet, has found reason to question the underlying rationale.

Once listed nationally as an endangered species, cormorants have rebounded. There are now an estimated 12,000 breeding pairs in Wisconsin, mostly in colonies around Green Bay and on Door County islands. They have been blamed for causing habitat damage and depleting the population of yellow perch and other fish.

A bill (PDF) signed by Gov. Jim Doyle last month calls on the DNR to use existing authority "to control and manage double-crested cormorants in order to reduce wildlife damage." The DNR, in a press release (PDF) last week says it will begin oiling eggs at several colonies; this prevents the eggs from hatching while keeping the parents thinking they might, so they don't produce more. The DNR also plans to shoot 300 cormorants on one Door County Island.

Bird lovers, naturally, are upset. "There isn't any scientific basis" for the effort, asserts Karen Etter Hale of the Madison Audubon Society. "They shouldn't be killing birds and oiling eggs without doing an environmental assessment." (The DNR says such an assessment will be done by mid-2007.) She thinks the push to reduce cormorants is political, driven by the fishing industry.

Meadows, who is pursuing a masters in wildlife ecology, says a review of the respective population levels for cormorants and yellow perch undercuts the theory that the former is decimating the latter. Moreover, she's found that cormorants' stomachs contain "a large number of round gobies," an invasive exotic fish species known to feast on yellow perch eggs.
"There are all kinds of interactions going on," attests Meadows. "It's important for the DNR to continue with its research."

DNR wildlife biologist Jeff Pritzl says his agency is taking a "methodical approach." Its current efforts seek merely to limit the growth of specific colonies. And it's adding a third year to the diet study (for which, says the DNR, an additional 550 birds will be killed). The results of this and the planned environmental impact assessment, says Pritzl, "will guide decisions in the future."
http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/node/1468

 

Effort begins to reduce number of cormorants in Green Bay
Associated Press
Sharpshooters are starting to kill some double-crested cormorants on selected islands in Green Bay now that the large fish-eating birds have rebounded after being virtually wiped out during the 1970s. :::snip:::

http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/news/politics/14536543.htm


Presqu'ile cormorants face cull
May 1, 2006. 01:13 PM
CANADIAN PRESS
Environmental activists are warning they'll be watching for signs of cruelty if the Ontario government decides to cull thousands of cormorants at a provincial park for the third straight year.
Ontario Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay is awaiting scientists' opinions, expected shortly, on whether a cull is needed to help control the cormorant population in Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Trenton, Ont., his spokeswoman said.
Over the past two years, thousands of the waterfowl have been killed to control their population, which can threaten trees and shoreline vegetation and significantly reduce fish stocks in nearby lakes.
Environmentalists claim they've documented past cases in which cormorants have been killed inhumanely, with hatchlings orphaned and some of the birds facing painful, prolonged deaths after they were severely injured and left to die.
In other cases, observers witnessed "birds that were wounded, that flew off their nest and fell onto the water and drowned," while others were killed in nests where eggs were about to hatch, said Liz White of Cormorant Defenders International.
"There are a number of issues that we feel need to be documented," White said.
The ministry insists it takes every precaution to make sure such incidents don't occur.

Ramsay's spokeswoman, Ginette Albert, also noted that other methods have been used to reduce the cormorant population, including oiling eggs to prevent them from hatching.
The environmentalists are also concerned about their ability to observe the cull. They say ministry staff have tried to deter witnesses, which lawyer Clayton Ruby views as a challenge to constitutional rights.
"There is a history of abuse, and we're calling upon the ministry to be very conscious about constitutional rights this year," Ruby said Monday. "If they are not, we will be."
Albert said the ministry doesn't want observers entering a 200-metre radius around a cull to avoid accidental shootings.
"We take safety very, very seriously," she said.
12:56ET 01-05-06 Toronto Star: http://tinyurl.com/epl7n

Δ


CLICK HERE for 2005 wildlife news


Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, PelicanLife.org does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to PelicanLife.org. The sole purpose of this site and this page is educational.



This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, and scientific, etc. questions. We believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


http://pelicanlife.org © Betsy Robertson Cramer, 2006, all rights reserved.
Contact: info@pelicanlife.org