Cormorants are not distinctive hunt quarry, but the DNR believes their unmanaged populations overfeed on and threaten fish. This spurred the department to curb the bird ’ second numbers, and this calendar month the state opened its moment month-long time period for shooting cormorants. Five hundred and twenty South Carolinians registered to participate, which far aroused concerns about whether the species should be removed from sphere waters .
As The Post and Courier notes, cormorants were once abundant throughout the palmetto state, but they suffered a major die-off in the 1970s from vulnerability to commercial insecticides. This prompted the federal politics to protect the species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which forbids the hunt or capture of threaten migrant domestic fowl. Over the comply years, cormorants gradually rebounded, and area fishermen and DNR officials nowadays believe the birds negatively affect aquatic life and amateur fishing.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service endorses the oversee removal of cormorants from South Carolina and other states under a federal depredation arrange, but critics believe such carry through is unnecessary and baseless .
The primary concern is that cormorants remain protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and alike legislation, though the FWS has identified the species as a pain and legitimately authorized reducing its numbers. In reception, a group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing FWS for permitting 24 states east of the Mississippi River, including South Carolina, to kill off cormorant. The group claims that allowing state agencies to shoot the birds violates the National Environmental Policy Act by way of championing a meaning environmental bill with short reason of its effect .
In conjunction, as The State explains, critics argue that biologists have yet to accurately determine how much or how short cormorants affect area fisheries. While reports speculate that 25,000 of the birds now inhabit Marion and Moultrie lakes, no conclusive analysis has determined if the species poses an eminent or significant threat to aquatic animation in these areas or elsewhere .
In an April 2014 report, FWS itself notes, “ The wide range of biotic and abiotic factors that affect fish populations and the complexity and challenges in studying aquatic systems make it unmanageable to demonstrate a cause and effect kinship between [ cormorant ] depredation and fish populations. ”
Despite this entree, FWS seems confident that cormorants injury fisheries, and notes in the lapp reputation that the manage removal of the birds benefits fish, wildlife, and vegetation, a well as minimizes damaging impacts on amateur, fishing-dependent economies.
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As the argue continues, finding a solution that benefits anglers, cormorants, and game pisces seems increasingly convoluted. A clear answer may come lone once there are besides few cormorant or besides few fish, whichever comes foremost. —JR Sullivan
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Category : Birds
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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