but some terns were saved:
Recent wildlife news
for recent news about pelicans
NEW PAGE — WEBCAMS
OF BIRDS (no pelican webcams, though!)
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
| Flamingos | hunting
in NW Refuges | Kenya | Maine
tests for avian flu | migration | Nests
protected | Piping Plovers
- Crane Beach, New Jersey | Prairie
| recreating wetlands | Salmon
- Russia | Sandhill Cranes |
seagulls slaughtered in Davenport,
CA | | Terns
| whooping crane in Vermont | Whooping
Cranes, 2, 3 | windmills
and wildlife | woodpeckers
and chain saws
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
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
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
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
"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
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:
(NB: same issue has a story about botulism in the New York
side of Lake Ontario, killing waterbirds.
Wildlife group to build new center next to zoo
Kate Nolan, The Arizona Republic, Oct. 26, 2006 For 25
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
The project cements a partnership that began when zoo
veterinarian Dr. Kathy Orr founded Liberty Wildlife in
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
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
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
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
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 email@example.com.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
While abandoning chicks sounds harsh, such strategies
are essential to the long-term survival of the colonies,
"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.
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
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.
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)
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
Shorebird ranks up despite challenges
October 2, 2006 •• 677 words •• ID:
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>
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.
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
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
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
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!
Bad karma for the chain-saw-toting residents of southeast
Rare Woodpecker Sends a Town Running for Its Chain Saws
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, September 24, 2006
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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
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
The horizon beckons across the species
Saturday, September 2, 2006
The sandhill cranes are getting ready for their annual
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page F - 8 URL: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/09/02/HOGRUKS76O1.DTL
©2006 San Francisco Chronicle
Judge says wildlife refuge hunts illegal
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.
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
"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
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.
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.
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:::
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,
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.
Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.
Cranes Hatch Two Chicks in Wis.
Pair of Whooping Cranes Hatch Two Chicks in the Wild in Central
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.
On the Net: Operation Migration: http://www.operationmigration.org/
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
plovers begin to hatch
By Natalie Miller/ email@example.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.
© Copyright of CNC and Herald Interactive Advertising
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
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
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
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
© Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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
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
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
"These guys just went out to shoot them and kill them,"
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.)
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,
shot the eagle without a permit in March 2005, and planned
to make its
arguments before U.S. District Judge William Downes on May
The case moves forward as the federal government considers
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
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
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.
said to be necessary for the eagle to be used in a ceremony,
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
results in long delays and that those eagles can't be used
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
they would continue to be protected by the Bald and Golden
© 1998 - 2006 Indian Country Today <http://www.indiancountry.com/>
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
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
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
”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:::
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
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
Two provisions providing further protection for Sites of
Special Scientific Interest will also come into effect on
The provisions will apply to England and Wales. http://www.4ni.co.uk/news.asp?id=52008
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.
recordings of marsh birds:.<http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00021&segmentID=4>
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
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.
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
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,"
"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
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
"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
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
Story by Pam Kasey; http://www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=11138&catid=165
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:::
Whooping Crane makes second appearance in Vermont
Vt. --A whooping crane flew off its migration path and landed
in Vermont for the second year in a row this spring.
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.
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.
Crane No. 309 who has visited Vermont has problems navigating,
according to Liz Condie of Operation Migration, an organize
that cares for whooping cranes.
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.
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.
month No. 309 landed in Dead Creek for a second time, this
time with another whooping crane.
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.
from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com
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
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
"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."
begins to reduce number of cormorants in Green Bay
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:::
Presqu'ile cormorants face cull
May 1, 2006. 01:13 PM
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
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
"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
HERE for 2005 wildlife news
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