Texas bird killing plans for bigwig planes

This video from the USA is of several thousand Sandhill Cranes flying in at sunset from feeding in the nearby cornfields to roost on the Platte River for the night during their annual migration.

From the Houston Chronicle in Texas, USA:

Airport permit to kill 2,400 birds raises fury in Texas



Federal wildlife wardens have granted a Waller County airport permission to kill up to 2,400 birds a year to reduce the danger of collisions with aircraft, stirring a new round of criticism from conservationists.

The permit allows the 2-year-old Houston Executive Airport to kill 13 species of migratory birds, including geese, egrets and sandhill cranes, in an effort to ensure aircraft safety.

According to the Internet site of Houston Executive Airport, this privately owned airport is

specifically to suit the needs of of corporations and inviduals using aircraft for business travel.

So, why cannot corporate bigwigs use the normal Houston airport like everyone else, a normal airport in an area much less important for birds than this new special fat cat airport?

Bird advocates argue that the permit confirms their decades-old position that the Katy Prairie, a popular stopping point for migratory birds on the central flyway, is not the right place for an airport.

“Why put an airport in a place full of migratory birds?” said attorney Jim Blackburn, who represented a citizens group that had opposed the development of the airport near wetlands and wildlife preserves. “They will kill thousands of birds, but the problem won’t go away.”

But Jeff Haskins, who leads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s migratory bird office for the Southwest region, said the permit was “kind of a no-brainer. I always side with the aircraft.”

Oh yeah, for people always siding with big money against birds; from the Memphis Commercial Appeal in the USA:

Some people might be stunned by the recent revelation that birdwatchers contributed a mind-blowing $36 billion to the United States economy in 2006.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report about this is here. See also here:

More people consider themselves birdwatchers than hunters, hikers and even skiers. … That $32 billion dollars [from an older, 2001, report] generated $85 billion in economic benefits and created 863,406 jobs.

According to a survey in Fortune magazine, more Americans take vacations to go birding than to play golf.

For a comparison; here:

Hunting continues to be a major form of recreation generating $3.9 billion per year of economic activity.

So, about a tenth of birdwatching.

Wildlife near Austin, Texas: here.

Avoiding Airliner Bird Strikes By Using Warning Lights: here.

The US aviation industry has taken extreme measures against birds in the name of safety. But in Britain, the approach is more humane. Alice-Azania Jarvis reports: here.

Wattled cranes (Bugeranus carunculatus) are truly big birds—mature adults stand up to 1.8 meters in height—so it’s only fitting that puppets and a full-size bird costume are being used to help save this critically endangered species from extinction in South Africa: here.

Emissions from airplanes kill more people than plane crashes do: here.

March 2011. From office block windows to power lines and wind turbines, many species of bird are prone to colliding with large man-made objects, many of which appear difficult not too notice to human eyes. A new study published today in IBIS outlines a new approach to understanding how birds see the world and why they find pylons and turbines so hard to avoid: here.

Red kites boost for Scottish business: here.

6 thoughts on “Texas bird killing plans for bigwig planes

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