From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 1994:

The Clinton administration on
February 23 unveiled a management plan
for 24 million acres of public land in the
Pacific Northwest that cuts the rate of log-
ging to 20% of the pace in the 1980s. Most
of the 5.3 million acres of old growth on the
public lands will be off limits, to protect
spotted owls and more than 1,000 other old
growth-dependent species. Although the
plan will make permanent the layoffs of
about 9,500 forest products workers, it is
expected to be what The New York Times
called “the final blueprint” for settling the
spotted owl crisis. Studies of the impact of
logging on spotted owls go on; critics of owl
protection may enjoy the March 13 disclo-
sure that the Seattle Center for Wildlife
Conservation is getting $107,000 from the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to check spot-
ted owl guano from logging areas for hor-
monal signs of stress.

With fish scarce, Danish
trawlers are scooping up sandeels, tiny
fish too small for human consumption but
saleable as animal feed––and the food staple
of North Sea birds. More than 50,000 birds
have starved in the Shetland Isles alone,
Derek Niemann of the Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds charged February 25. By
contrast, the toll from storms that hit during
the 1983 nesting season was an estimated
34,000, and the 1992 B r a e r oil spill killed
“only” 20,000. Affected are guillemots,
shags, auks, razor bills, and puffins.
For the second time in three
years, an unidentified illness possibly asso-
ciated with selenium absorption has hit eared
grebes wintering on the Salton Sea in south-
ern California. About 600 grebes were found
dead during the last two weeks of February.
The previous outbreak killed 150,000 grebes
between January and March 1992.
Birds who live near California’s
Calipatria State Prison seem to have
learned that they can sit on a new electric
fence safely if they touch just one wire at a
time. Fifteen birds were electrocuted in
November, right after the fence went up, but
deaths have been rare since.
The New Mexico Game and Fish
Department and the National Wild Turkey
Federation on February 2 released 21
Gould’s turkeys in the Galiuro mountains, of
whom six males and 12 females survived the
first two weeks. Gould’s turkeys are a sub-
species hunted out in the U.S. but still found
in Mexico. Survivors of two flocks released
in Arizona a decade ago have hybridized
with the native population of slightly more
common Merriam’s turkeys.
Brigitte Bardot on February 23
led protest against the gassing of almost
1,000 pigeons in the town of Cahors. The
protest had no visible impact there, but a day
later the Amsterdam Zoo announced it would
collaborate with the Dutch national health
institute in using a seedborne contraceptive
called Nicarzabine to limit the Amsterdam
pigeon population. The Sacramento Metro
Airport in Sacramento, California, mean-
while resorted to poisoning to reduce a resi-
dent starling population estimated at 50,000
to 70,000.
ANIMAL PEOPLE subscriber
Phil Caitlin made both The New York Times
and The National Enquirer in February after
rising at dawn for weeks to befriend and
eventually capture two parrots who had gone
semi-feral in New York’s Central Park. A
longtime bird rescuer, Caitlin told ANIMAL
PEOPLE that he would adopt out the parrots
but would require the adoptor(s) to first
donate at least $200 to the Raptor Trust.
Chicago police officer Roger
Sowinski found a rare snowy owl in a
snowbank in early February. Rather than
leave her with Animal Control, which would
have euthanized her, he took her to the
Lincoln Park Zoo, whose staff amputated a
severely broken wing and hope to add her to
their captive breeding program. The snowy
owl is believed to be only the second seen in
Chicago in 18 years.
Two hundred black vultures
native to Florida have migrated far north to
Stafford County, Virginia, where they have
reportedly eaten pet ducks and attacked dogs,
cats, and horses.
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