Created on Friday, 20 May 2016 13:57 | Written by Steve Law
The Audubon Society of Portland is calling on the federal government to halt its cormorant-killing program — designed to protect endangered salmon — after news surfaced that the entire cormorant nesting colony on East Sand Island is in jeopardy.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that the double-crested cormorant nesting colony on the island near the mouth of the Columbia River had suffered catastrophic failure. Up to 16,000 cormorants abandoned their nests, which were then attacked by gulls, crows and other scavengers, said Bob Sallinger, conservation director of the Audubon Society of Portland.
The colony collapse comes after weeks of efforts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to harass and shoot the cormorants, Sallinger said.
“Without question, they set the stage for this kind of colony collapse,” Sallinger said Friday.
Audubon has been protesting the slaughter of double-crested cormorants, who are known to feed on salmon. Audubon argues the cormorants are being used as a scapegoat when dams on the Columbia River are the key cause of declining salmon runs.