Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rossmoor homeowners vow to go ahead with woodpecker shoot

December 18th, 2008 · The Contra Costa Times reports that two homeowners groups in Rossmoor have reaffirmed their intention to use a U.S. Fish & Wildlife permit to shoot Acorn Woodpeckers that are building granaries in several homes. Despite an ongoing effort from the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society to bring in experts and even pay for possible solutions, the shooting is expected to go ahead soon. This is despite comment from several experts that the shooting is unlikely to solve the problem, and might even make it worse.

“Killing the woodpeckers is a shortsighted and very short-term solution,” Eric Walters, an acorn woodpecker specialist at UC Berkeley’s Hastings nature reserve in Carmel Valley, wrote in an e-mail to the Times this week. “Unless they plan to wipe out the entire acorn woodpecker population, shooting birds is not going to do a darn thing to stop the damage to their retirement community.”

Napa/Solano Audubon and grape growers seek partnership to save endangered birds

The Times-Herald, which serves Solano and Napa counties, reports today about a new partnership between the local Napa-Solano Audubon chapter and area grape growers to find ways to protect several Audubon Watchlist species, including the Loggerhead Shrike. The efforts will be funded by a new TogetherGreen grant. Proposed measures include teaching landowners and others how to plant hedge rows around ponds, remove invasive species and install nesting boxes and platforms for native birds. 

“By reaching out to agricultural landowners, we’ll be making California a better place for native vegetation and threatened bird species,” said Napa Solano Audubon Society President Cheryl Harris. “This is a vital first step in caring for the environment.”