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Re: nest predation

<<National Geographic had a photo of this a couple of years ago, and it 
brought out all kinds of outrage - how can we judge one species, and 
look at how cruel this is, and all that.  But the fact is, it works.  I 
don't know if the Michigan program uses the same technology, but the 
total worldwide population of Kirtland's warblers (they nest only in 
Michigan) jumped from 500 to 2000 after cowbird control started.  
Similar success stories are told for some populations of golden-cheeked 
warbler and black-capped vireo from central Texas - it's gruesome, but 
where habitat preservation has failed, this succeeds.>>

I don't like to see cute little baby birds get stomped, gassed, or have 
their lungs depressed either, but I do find it necessary population 
control.  For years bluebirds in Northwest Indiana have been rare, not 
endangered, just rare in certain areas.  A few years ago they started to 
nest in boxes for the first time in so many years; the problem was that 
house sparrows were parasitizing the nests.  To control the sparrows the 
old stomp policy was put into effect ( secretly ) and the bluebird 
population is peaking.  

<<I don't like wholesale slaughter of animals at all, but cowbirds are 
expanding their range and numbers as a direct result of human activity, 
and this does threaten several other dinosaur species.  The goal of 
these programs is not to eradicate cowbirds, but to control their 
numbers in specific places where threatened parasitized species occur.>>



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