Judge Lets East Sand Island Cormorant Cull Continue

Cormorants3_h7b5woA federal judge will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to keep shooting native cormorants by the thousands, to reduce predation on young salmon, despite objections from environmentalists who say the slaughter doesn’t address the real cause of dwindling salmon populations: hydroelectric dams. The Audubon Society of Portland led an April 2015 lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, claiming that the plan scapegoated a natural predator and had little effect on survival rates of young salmon. Chief among the Audubon Society’s arguments is that there are so many factors that determine whether a salmon will return from sea to spawn in its native waters that the government’s focus on cormorant predation was not only fruitless, but hurt a native bird protected by the Migratory Species Act.   The government’s plan focused on East Sand Island, home to the largest breeding population of double-crested cormorants in North America. The 60-acre island is nestled in the fertile brackish waters where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. Read the rest here 14:11

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