16,000 Cormorants of East Sand Island to Be Shot Dead to Save Endangered Salmon

16,000 Cormorants of East Sand Island to Be Shot Dead to Save Endangered Salmon

A proposal to kill half the large colony of cormorants in the Columbia River estuary is being considered by the Federal officials. The proposal comes up as the preferred action of the draft management plan that was released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday.

The whole thing is an effort to improve the survival of endangered juvenile salmon and steelhead on the island. Cormorants is a black seabirds that increasingly nests' on East Sand Island, and feeds on juvenile fish swimming out to the Pacific Ocean. Their increasing populations have had the strongest impact on juvenile steelhead, eating about 3.6 percent of the migrating population each year. It is about 11 million juvenile salmon per year that are eaten by cormorants.

The fish is listed as an endangered species. Army Corps of Engineers since 1997 has been actively involved in observing the juvenile salmon population in the Columbia.

Taking consideration of the reducing salmon numbers they have come up with a $1.5 million-a-year program that is planned over a period of four years under which federal trappers would be armed with silenced rifles and night-vision scopes to shoot the birds during their nesting season. Also, the bird's eggs will be covered in oil so as to reduce the chances of hatching. All this will be done till the target colony size is attained.

Environmental advocates have severely criticized the plan. "This is a crazy, crude and needlessly cruel plan that should go right back to the drawing board. This operation represents an extreme militarization of wildlife management. Cormorants do not need to be treated like terrorists simply because they eat fish", said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

In response to this the Corps says that they have looked into other methods as well such as hazing with lights and using human presence to flush cormorants off potential nesting sites, but these won't be effective.


FrenchTribune Specials

Tesla Model S in self-driving mode involved in fatal crash

In a blog post published on Thursday, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors said that a preliminary investigation has been initiated by federal regulators into the autopilot feature on a Model S electric car in self-driving mode.

The investigation by federal regulators is a result of a fatal crash involving the self-driving Model S...

Most Popular

Tips to save Your Skin from Harmful UV Rays

To prevent skin cancer, people must apply sunscreen...

Uber is testing new version of its app which makes surge pricing nearly invisibl

In a recent announcement, ride-sharing service Uber has...

YouTube now allows users to livestream right from its mobile app

In a Thursday announcement, Google's popular video-...

Photo posted by Mark Zuckerberg shows taped-over laptop camera in background

On Tuesday, Facebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg...

Poll

Can Greece Come out of Economic Problems: