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.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Bird Advocates Question Raven-Killing Plans To Protect Sage Grouse

March 21, 2019 11:15 a.m.

Deep in Oregon’s sagebrush country, there’s one county with an abundance of ravens. Biologists say those ravens like to eat sage grouse eggs, and they’ve come up with plans to take care of the raven problem.

That’s got bird advocates questioning whether killing one bird for the sake of another is the right move.

Sage grouse in Baker County are isolated. Their numbers have declined by 75 percent since 2005.

“The Baker (population) is the most imperiled in the state,” said Lee Foster, Oregon’s sage grouse coordinator. “We haven’t seen a similar decline anywhere else.”

A big problem in this county on Oregon’s eastern border: ravens. Foster said no other area in Oregon has so many ravens on the landscape. He said if sage grouse have trouble recovering because of predation, other habitat improvement projects won’t help.

To that point, the state has come up with plans to lethally remove up to 500 ravens in the area every year for three years.

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