This week in birds - #464
A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:
Photo by Gualberto Becerro, courtesy of American Bird Conservancy.
The American Bird Conservancy's "Bird of the Week" is the beautiful Aplomado Falcon, a hunter of open savanna, prairie, desert, and grasslands. Today it is a resident in parts of Texas but was largely extirpated from its range in the U.S. in the 1950s.
In the midst of all the chaos in world news this week, suffering Haiti has probably not received the attention it deserves. First, it was hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that killed hundreds. That was on Saturday. A couple of days later Tropical Storm Grace drenched the country while emergency crews were still trying to find and dig out survivors of the quake. And of course, this followed the political upheaval following the assassination of Haiti's president a few weeks before. Here is a list of vetted organizations that are helping in the country. If you are in a position to donate to them, please consider it. (Please note the Red Cross is not among them. That organization has a problematic history in Haiti.)
Wisconsin has chosen to ignore the recommendations of scientists and conservationists and allow the killing of as many as 300 gray wolves, more than a third of the state's population of the animals, in an autumn hunt. Hunters exceeded the numbers that the state "allowed" in the last hunt; what's to prevent them from doing that again?
Louisiana activists have scored a victory with the news that the U.S. government has placed further delays on a proposed multibillion-dollar plastics plant in the southern part of the state, an area known as Cancer Alley because of the high percentage of cancer cases there, many directly related to environmental conditions.
The E.P.A. is reversing a decision taken by the previous administration to allow the pesticide chlorpyrifos to remain in use. The pesticide has been linked to neurological damage in children and its use will now be blocked.
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government has, for the first time, declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river's main reservoirs. This will trigger cuts in the water supply available to farmers in Arizona first but also in Nevada and for Mexico.
*~*~*~*decimated by exposure to drugs used to treat cattle that become vulture food when they die.