Part of the Bay Area News Group

It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature

By Gary Bogue
Friday, December 1st, 2006 at 9:26 am in Man vs. wildlife.

We humans really know how to muck things up.

** Endangered California condors are dying from lead poisoning because the state Fish and Game Commission won’t ban lead bullets used by hunters. Every year some of the giant birds die after eating animals killed by lead bullets, as we were reminded by a story in Today’s Contra Costa Times by staff writer Denis Cuff. A lawsuit has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social responsibility and the Wishtoyo Foundation telling them to "get the lead out." http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/email/news/16139307.htm

** In an Associated Press story, Oregon, Washington and Idaho asked the feds for permission to kill sea lions that are eating salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River. AP reported The Humane Society of the United States is against the idea, saying it won’t do any good and draws attention away from the real problem which is hydroelectric dams that kill LOTS more salmon every year than the sea lions ever could. And of course let’s not forget all the complaints from fishermen who feel humans should be the ones catching the salmon, not those silly wild creatures that just need them for food.

** Like the sea lions, hungry Caspian terns are also gobbling up endangered salmon and steelhead in Oregon’s Columbia River, according to a front page story in the Times on Nov. 29 by staff writer Denis Cuff. The Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan to try and relocate the hungry birds to sandy shoreline areas in Richmond, Hayward and Fremont "in one the largest programs in the nation to disperse wild birds." http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/community/16121037.htm

So what happens if their Rube Goldberg plan to relocate the terns doesn’t work? Will they shoot the terns instead of dealing with the real problem (see "hyrdoelectric dams" and "fishermen" above)?

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