Two Rossmoor homeowner groups — Mutual 68 and Mutual 59 — have decided to shoot 50 acorn woodpeckers to try and stop the birds from drilling holes in their condos to store acorns for use as winter food.
Shooting will NOT stop the problem and your help is needed to save these birds from being killed by humans who obviously don’t understand the situation.
Audubon California, our own local Mt. Diablo Audubon Society and top acorn woodpecker experts met on Jan. 7 with Rossmoor representatives and a U. S. Fish and Wildlife special agent and presented clear scientific reasons why the shooting would not solve the Rossmoor problems. They also offered substantial resources to help the homeowners deal with the woodpecker problems with non-lethal methods.
They made these offers ONLY if the Rossmoor mutuals would vote NOT to kill the birds.
The homeowner association boards ignored this advice. Mutual 68 voted to immediately start shooting the acorn woodpeckers and Mutual 59 voted to wait two months and then start shooting. So Audubon California and MDAS are asking the USFWS to revoke Rossmoor’s depredation permit immediately before birds can be killed.
The only way we can save the lives of 50 acorn woodpeckers (and many more in the future??) is to convince the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cancel Rossmoor’s kill permit.
The USFWS should NOT have issued the permit in the first place. Experts say killing the birds won’t work. If they shoot 50 woodpeckers, 50 new woodpeckers will probably take their place within the hour. The permit also states that all non-lethal remedies must first be tried before permission will be made to kill birds, and the mutuals have clearly not made a good-faith effort to do that.
You can help by contacting members of the USFWS permit department (see below) and asking them to immediately revoke the permit before the Rossmoor mutuals can kill and disrupt the acorn woodpecker population. This is critical because acorn woodpeckers are a “cornerstone species.” The holes these birds drill in trees provide housing, habitat and food for a LARGE number of species of wildlife in the rich oak woodland areas around Rossmoor and beyond.
Killing the woodpeckers impacts a lot more wild creatures than just the woodpeckers and that is NOT good.
Please take a quick moment to sign this petition by Audubon California:
Please e-mail these USFWS people and ask them to cancel the permit:
Contact Congresswoman Tauscher and ask her to please ask the USFWS to cancel Rossmoor’s permit to kill the woodpeckers:
Go to http://www.tauscher.house.gov and click on “Contact Me” in upper right side of the page, then click on “e-mail me” and fill out the e-mail response form and add your message in the spaces provided.
More details on acorn woodpeckers and why top acorn woodpecker experts say shooting them won’t work:
See MDAS newsletter “The Quail,” scroll down to page 4, “Rossmoor Acorn Woodpecker Update”:
My thanks for taking the time to do this and especially for caring.
The USFWS needs to understand that simply killing wildlife whenever there’s a conflict is not always the best solution. They need to be more careful about issuing their depredation permits. If killing won’t solve this acorn woodpecker problem, it probably won’t solve a lot of other wildlife/human conflict problems, either.
Hopefully, getting a LARGE response from people about this particular subject will also cause them to reevaluate their practices in other areas. Thanks for caring. /Gary