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.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Correction: Cormorant Killing story

Updated Sep 7, 2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — In a story Sept. 2 about double-crested cormorants, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the species is not federally protected. Double-crested cormorants are not listed under the Endangered Species Act but they are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

A corrected version of the story is below:

US judge: Government can keep killing salmon-eating birds
A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can continue killing cormorants to protect juvenile salmon migrating down the Columbia River
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps Engineers can continue killing double-crested cormorants that prey on Columbia River salmon and steelhead in a move that shows just how complex the debate has become over how to best sustain imperiled fish species emblematic of the Pacific Northwest.

Following the ruling made public Thursday, the Audubon Society of Portland on Friday called the decision "deeply disappointing."

Along with other groups, it contends that hydroelectric dams pose the greatest threat to the fish and says it is unnecessary to reduce the number of fish predators by shooting thousands of cormorants and spreading oil on thousands of nests to prevent cormorant eggs from hatching.

"It is time for the government to stop this slaughter and recognize that its cormorant killing program rests on a foundation of broken laws," said Bob Sallinger, conservation director of Portland's Audubon Society.

The birds on East Sand Island at the mouth of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington constitute North America's biggest double-crested cormorant nesting colony.

Federal agencies blame them for eating millions of juvenile salmon as they migrate down the Columbia toward the ocean. Thirteen species of salmon and steelhead on the Columbia and Snake rivers have been listed as federally protected species over the past 25 years.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon said the federal agency disregarded the law by not seeking other alternatives before deciding to kill the birds. Simon acknowledged it isn't clear exactly how many juvenile fish are saved each year because of the reduction of the cormorants.

But he left the cormorant-killing plan in place after deciding it provides some benefit to fish listed as endangered or threatened. Cormorants are not listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

"In considering effects on endangered and threatened species, the 'benefit of the doubt' must go to the endangered species," Simon wrote.

No comments:

Post a Comment