As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Agency stumped by taking of sea bird's habitat

By STEVEN DUBOIS 
Of the Associated Press

PORTLAND — Two federal agencies are at loggerheads over a decision to remove five old-growth trees from the habitat that supports a threatened sea bird during breeding season.

The U.S. Forest Service cut the massive trees — one was 238-feet tall — in late April at the Sunshine Bar Campground near Port Orford in southwest Oregon. The threatened marbled murrelet nests in the campground, though it's unknown if any were in the trees at the time they fell.

The agency generally must get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a tree during the breeding season. But Fish and Wildlife did not know the trees were gone until getting a tip in late July.

“We're still trying to figure out the rationale,” said Jim Thrailkill, a field supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Forest Service officials declined phone interviews this week. In written responses Friday, the agency said the trees were located near a campsite and at high risk of losing limbs or falling. Of the five hazard trees that were removed, the Forest Service said, one was completely dead and the other four had dead tops.

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