Notice: for those who want to comment on this, the comment period has been extended until noon on May 12, 2009. You can also provide oral testimony to the Fish and Game Commission the evening or the 13th. The Fish and Game Commission meeting begins at 7:00PM in the ISU Student Union Bldg – Big Wood River Room.
-When the state of Idaho (and other western states) express the need to “manage” a wildlife species – that usually perks the ears of wildlife advocates in the state. That’s because “manage” is so often a word used to soften the state’s real intention – i.e. the intent to ‘kill’ wildlife. Ralph and many others note this is particularly true with wolves and we’ve seen it with bighorns and others.
So how about pelicans ?
Pelicans are a “critically imperiled” species in Idaho occurring in two colonies located on Blackfoot Reservoir and the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately :
2009 Draft Pelican Management Plan(page 1)
In some areas, pelicans predominately forage on abundant populations of nongame fish resulting in non-consequential or acceptable impacts. However, in some areas pelican predation is measurably impacting native trout populations and recreational fisheries resulting in resource conflicts.
Location of Idaho colonies
Yet, despite the imperiled state of pelicans and their protected status in the state, IDFG seeks to “manage” pelicans to maintain recreational fisheries – sport fishing – using a variety of unique methods that aptly illustrate the ‘war-game’-like “management” mentality that dominates state wildlife management departments in the west, especially Idaho’s.
Page 20 of Draft Pelican Management Plan – a few techniques considered “feasible”:
Haze Birds––Haze only foraging or loafing birds (no hazing on nesting islands). This action was deemed feasible.
- Harassment by air boat, motor boat, or aircraft.
- Harassment by human presence and/or dogs.
- Harassment by crackers shells, zon guns, or pyrotechnics.
- Disturbance by lasers or strobe lights.
- Disturbance by human presence or effigies.
Oil Eggs to Limit Pelican Productivity and/or Recruitment––Spray vegetable oil on incubating eggs (suffocates embryos). This action was deemed feasible.
- May require multiple applications of vegetable oil.
- Requires authorization from the USFWS because pelicans are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).
“Blasting” pelican nesting grounds (page 58) is also described as a “management” method to ‘control’ pelican populations and to illustrate the depth of this unique “management” pathology, USDA Wildlife Services were brought in to take a shot at detering the birds’ presence.
Page 2 :
As recommended by USDA/APHIS Wildlife Service personnel, pelican carcasses were left on site to further deter pelicans from using the area. There is little indication that this was effective and in fact the pelican carcasses may have attracted other birds to the area.
Tommorrow is the last day to comment on the IDFG’s plan to “control”/”manage” rare pelicans in the state.