Feb. 12, 2019 Updated: Feb. 13, 2019 6:54 a.m.
The Bexar Audubon Society, the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and residents near Elmendorf Lake are pushing back against plans by the city and Joint Base San Antonio to disperse hundreds of cattle egrets.
During a meeting Monday night at Our Lady of the Lake University, they called on the military to provide more evidence of birds’ potential danger to pilots and accused the city of inadequately communicating with the community about the plan.
The city and JBSA have worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop a plan to cut lakeside underbrush and use lasers, pyrotechnics and other bright lights and loud noises to encourage the large cattle egret population to roost elsewhere.
The lake is in the middle of the West Side. The rookery, on what’s commonly called Bird Island, has between 800 and 1,200 cattle egrets during breeding season, according to Brianna Kubiak, a USDA airport wildlife hazard biologist.
Other species, including great egrets, snowy egrets and cormorants, also live in the area, which residents are concerned about disturbing.