The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to kill tens of thousands of wild birds in Oregon in an attempt to manipulate the food chain. According to the American Bird Conservatory, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed to kill 16,000 cormorant birds on East Sand Island (ESI), in the Columbia River Estuary. It is said that these birds are being targeted because they are eating fish, and the plan has been proposed as a way of preventing the fish population from dwindling.
Dr. George Wallace of the American Bird Conservatory said that “We have deep concerns about the DEIS and the preferred alternative… The determination that the breeding population on ESI must be reduced to approximately 5,600 breeding pairs is not based on any rigorous or peer-reviewed analysis.”
“Salmon smolt consumption by cormorants has varied from levels that are considered acceptable by NOAA Fisheries (2 million smolts in 2005) to those considered highly unacceptable (20 million smolts in 2011), despite little change in size of the ESI DCCO colony. The lack of a direct correlation between smolt consumption and DCCO colony size means that the number of smolts saved from management to reduce colony size is difficult to predict based on colony size alone,” Wallace added.
The American Bird Conservatory has sent a 23-page comment letter to Sondra Ruckwardt at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers demanding that the plan be cancelled.
In the past, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and similar government agencies have received criticism from environmentalists for plans to kill large numbers of animals.
For nearly a decade, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been attempting to wipe out an entire owl species in four “test areas” of Oregon, Washington and California. Luckily, activists have been able to prevent this from happening, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is still making moves to put the plan into action.
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