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AILE GOBY

Why Kill Nesting Birds?

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Point Pelee National Park in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning an all out assault on nesting double-crested cormorants on the Lake Erie Archipelago Islands.

The Lake Erie Archipelago Islands are a cluster of islands in Lake Erie shared between Ontario and Ohio. Middle Island, part of Point Pelee National Park, is the most southern point in Canada and nesting site for thousands of colonial waterbirds.

These islands are somewhat remote but over the years have been harmed by haphazard development and a history of military weapons testing. Many of the smaller islands have been abandoned by their private landowners, and have been re-colonized by some of North America's most spectacular colonial waterbirds, such as pelicans and double-crested cormorants.

Parks Canada, in partnership with Ontario Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to kill

thousands of cormorants throughout Lake Erie as part of a larger continental plan to reduce the cormorant population across North America throughout its nesting grounds and migration route

Why Kill Nesting Birds?

There are two reasons why government fish and wildlife agencies kill cormorants.

The primary reason is because double-crested cormorants eat fish. They have sparked an irrational hatred among sport anglers who accuse the bird of depleting fish stocks even though they have no scientific evidence to justify their claims. Because government fish and wildlife agencies receive revenue from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, as well as revenue from gun sales in the United States, they keep anglers happy regardless of the harm done to the environment.

The second reason is because guano deposits from tree nesting cormorants over time can alter the local environment. Large colonies of cormorants, ranging from hundreds to thousands, can alter the local environment within 20 years but this is a natural process with ecological benefits.

But killing thousands of native North American migratory birds across international jurisdictions is not simply about saving a few 'green' trees.

The Ontario government first began shooting nesting cormorants in 2004 at Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario killing over 10,000 in three years. By oiling eggs to suffocate the unhatched chick, they killed thousands more in the Georgian Bay area of Lake Huron.

The additional killing on Lake Erie will make the whole Great Lakes basin, the primary nesting ground for migrating cormorants, inhospitable and dangerous. Combined with efforts in the United States to kill cormorants on their `flyway' or migration route, it will leave no place safe for these birds anywhere in North America.

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To Aile Goby,

Evidently you are misinformed about these wonderfull birds, Cormorants. (A non-native species brought here from China) You should view the last 15 years of their growth as the peak of their existence, because it's going to be downhill from NOW! You couldn't have viewed the 2 hour video tape from the early 1990's where these birds devasted a brown trout stocking in the St. Law. area. Documentation back then proved that their was 2200 nesting pairs on one of the Gallo Islands. The birds had destroyed all vegatation on the island. By 2000 the Bass fishing in the St. Law. was devasted. Stomach contents analysis conducted by College students revealed more data condeming these non-native bird species. The failure of our DEC and Feds to act at that time caused the crash in Sport Fishing!! A few individuals took this loss of their fishing very seriously and destroyed 840 cormorants. Thru the efforts of the National Audubon Society a large cash reward was offered to anyone who who come forward with info. Phones were tapped, and finally someone came forward to collect the reward. Persons were charged and brought to court. A wonderfull day for the National Audubon Society membership!

I believe you are one of these preservationists! But the conservationist's, fisherman & sport hunters did finally win this long hard battle over a NON-NATIVE BIRD! May their numbers dwindle & die!

Jet Boat Bill

( Still wearing my "Little Galloo Shoot-Out Hat"

"Fisherman 840.....Cormorants 0"

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Dear kingfisher06,

Get your bird ID. book (I.E. Birds of America) out and you will find there are approx. 10 species of marine cormorants in North America. These birds inhabit marine enviroments mainly (Salt Water) and our coastlines. The species that we are dealing with here are a Chinese species. A rare sighting would occur in the 1970's compared to the huge flights observed now fishing the Great Lakes. Their fishing habits are entirely different then our American species. chinese cormorants actually will work together (groups of 100+) to herd fish into shallow water. You must watch them to see the co-operation. And they will dive from heights and attack fish compared to their USA species. ............Jet Boat Bill

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Borderline,

The double-crested cormorant is a native species and the one of concern to great lakes fisheries. I am well aware of the 6 species in the family Phalacrocoracidae that are established in north america. The double-crested cormorant's population along with many other bird species (bald eagle etc.) was hammered in the 70's from DDT poisoning. Since banning of such chemicals double-crested cormorants, bald eagles etc. have re-bounded. There are many examples of native species that cause problems when left unmanaged relative to management objectives. For example crows and whitetail in urban settings or double crested cormorants in the great lakes. It is a common misconception to deem this species an exotic. I am 100% on board with controlling (not wiping out) this species population relative to fisheries management. Just wanted to clarify.

"The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant:

'What good is it?'"

Aldo Leopold - A Sand County Almanac

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Dear KF06

I will accept your statement at this time about the double breasted cormorant being a native species. But I will research my info source also. I was told years ago (1960's) by a NYS Bureau of Fish and Game Biologist that they were concerned that the chinese birds had crossed with our birds. I will pose this question to the Cornell Experts.

Jet Boat Bill

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Borderline,

I make that mistake too and call them "double-breasted cormorants". Now that bird would be an even uglier one!

I was waterfowl hunting with a newbie and he was confusing juvenile cormorants with ducks. I was chuckling on the inside saying "chalk one up for the smallies". Outwardly I told him he ought "put a couple of rocks on that bird and sink it". Remember that double crested cormorants are migratory birds and protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and DEC law.

Please let us know what Cornell has to say. They are the experts worldwide.

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Thats why they need to make id courses for waterfowl hunters, you can get in lots of trouble for killing those things and I know they look nothing like any duck! A goose maybe but even the small ones are big. As far as the killing them off there nests it about time they did some thing to control them I see more and more every year it seems like.

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Dear Cormorant L""""",

I have been doing my homework. THEY are not a migratory GAME bird according to the DEC laws and Federal Law. They are a migratory bird under the Mexico/USA agreement. Seasons are established by the FEDS. The court battle was decided Oct. 8th, 2003. The Feds also are using special tactics since shooting was only partially effective, which includes cervical dislocation, oiling nesting sites and CO2 asph........WOW, that ought to curl the bark on that tree you are hanging on to! I will post the open seasons as soon as I can find the data!

Happy Days!!!! JBB

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http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/intrn ... ndx.html#d

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a Federal law and therefor DEC enforced!!!

Double-crested cormorants are protected under this law.

Are they considering opening a seaon on them? It is only a consideration at this point.

If they were a migratory GAME bird they would have a OPEN season. The only exception in NYS is house sparrows, European starlings and pigeons (rock dove).

Your right that the FEDS institute the Migratory game laws and they should since they are managing migratory species populations that exist across state lines. Just common sense. That why you buy a Federal Duck Stamp to be able to participate.

Only gov't agencies are allowed to control populations of these birds with whatever measures they deem appropiate.

You keep on looking for those open season dates tirelessly. You are not doing anything but confusing your fellow fisherman and potentially getting them into trouble.

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Dear KF-06,

Invested in several phone calls today. YOU ARE RIGHT. The requests for open seasons & limits on Cormorants was turned down after the Feds won the court battle in 2003. The region 8 DEC office had no knowledge of open seasons on Cormorants and told me to contact the Fed. Fish & Wildlife Service in Buffalo for info on Federally protected birds. A Federal LEO agent called me back this afternoon and explained the denial of open seasons and limits that took place approx. 3 years ago. He also explained the present methods & PERMITS used for cormorant control. I am sorry, if you thought I was trying to incite sportsman to destroy a protected bird. The Feds and my tax dollars are doing a much better job then my 1 1/4 ounce of my approved steel shot. Besides, I am a lousy shot at single birds, but very good at Doubles.......JBB

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lol, thats what i think about it too, watch em' grow... i know what you are saying. on a srius not kingfisher knows his stuff.

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