Sent: Tue, Oct 21, 2014 12:36 pm
Subject: ACTION ALERT: Large Number of Birds Killed by Open Pipes; Western Bluebirds Among the Victims
Action Alert: Large Number of Birds Killed by Open Pipes; Western Bluebirds Among the Victims
Open pipes, widely used for a variety of purposes across the western U.S. landscape, have been reported as a “potentially very large” source of bird mortality by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Based on these preliminary findings … open bollards and pipes pose a potentially large-scale threat to birds, and research on the impacts of this threat, especially to cavity-nesting birds, should be encouraged and considered in management plans,” the scientists said.
You can send a message to Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service leaders to thank them for the progress made to eliminate this threat—and to urge further action. Go to: https://secure2.convio.net/abcb/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=175
“BLM is to be commended for organizing pipe-pulling programs and increasing awareness of the issue with public outreach and wildlife training programs,” said Steve Holmer, Senior Policy Advisor for American Bird Conservancy. “Now the Bureau needs to deal with this issue on a larger scale and take preventative actions to end this unacceptable toll on western bird populations. Many existing pipes still need to be capped or removed, and new engineering and building standards are urgently needed by all land management agencies to prevent the use of open pipes in the future.”
The finding was part of a peer-reviewed study accepted for publication by the “Western North American Naturalist” and authored by Charles D. Hathcock and Jeanne M. Fair. The study looked at pipes in three circumstances and documented cases of the pipes causing bird deaths in northern New Mexico. (Read ABC press release and resulting story in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle for more details.)
Western Bluebirds accounted for 61 percent of the identifiable affected bird species. Other species identified included: Ash-throated Flycatcher, Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, House Finch, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Western Scrub-Jay.
While the study analyzed metal pipes used as gateposts, very similar plastic or PVC versions are also widely used to mark corners or boundaries on over 3.5 million mining claims administered by the BLM. Nevada has the most mining claims with almost 1.1 million, followed by Utah with 412,000, Wyoming with 313,000, California with about 311,000 and Colorado with about 285,000.
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Senior Policy Advisor
American Bird Conservancy &
Director, Bird Conservation Alliance