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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Update 2/16: Wild Quaker Parrot Crisis in Yacolt, WA

Update 2/16: Wild Quaker Parrot Crisis in Yacolt, WA
Today, Washington TV Station KATU provided an updated report on the situation in Yacolt, Washington. As I've indicated on this site, the situation in Yacolt is highly unfortunate, because it appears that while a humane solution involving alternative nest platforms has been forged, evidence exists that the power company continues to remove nests despite the fact that doing this practically ensures that many birds will not survive the winter.

KATU's report about at least one dead Quaker Parrot being found in the vicinity of a recently removed nest is accurate. An autopsy was performed to identify the exact cause of death and the medical examiner's report will soon be released to the media.

While this latest news is most disturbing, I sincerely hope that the citizens of Yacolt, their elected officials, and the local power company can somehow find a way to reach a humane solution that addresses all legitimate concerns of the local community. I would like to see the squabbling and name-calling stop, tempers cool, and a good-faith discussion to being. While it is to be expected that passions will flare on either side of the issue, I implore those who care about their wild parrots behave in an appropriate, transparent manner, and would ask City officials and power company officials to do the same.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Please Help The Rescued African Greys of Camaroon

Parrots are the most endangered birds in the world, and it's rare that the bad guys who poach them get caught. But almost 1,000 endangered African Grey parrots were recently liberated from a shipment at Cameroon Airport, and most of them survived. These parrots are being cared for at a wildlife refuge, and the World Parrot Trust is trying to help them. Please donate to this worthy organization to provide for their care and rehabilitation.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hopes Dim for Yacolt, Washington, Wild Parrots

Latest Update on Embattled Wild Parrots of Yacolt, WashingtonIt's difficult following developments on the ground from 3,000 miles away. But I'm hearing only bad news from Yacolt, Washington, where Clark County Public Utilities Department and the U.S.D.A. attempted to eradicate wild parrots against the wishes of Yacol's community late last year.

Although the killing of the parrots stopped more than a month ago, fewer and fewer parrots are being sighted, suggesting the worst, which is that they have died a cruel death in the cold due to the continued nest removals that Clark County PUD has performed during this period.

This terribly cruel situation could have been avoided if the town of Yacolt and Clark County Public Utilities had followed best practices and not removed the parrot nests at one of the most perilous times of the year. Even in the midst of a terrible ice and snow storm, and even after pro-parrot activists notified the mayor, city council, and Clark County PUD of the dire effects of such continuing removals, the crews continued their work, sealing the parrots fate. There may still be a few surviving birds, but so far, none have been sighted in the alternative nesting platforms. So it seems that those who wished the parrots killed at the outset of this sad incident will get their way in a particularly cruel way.

This sad story could have had a much happier ending. But one cannot lay all the blame on the Yacolt politicians and the power company. Community efforts to negotiate a humane solution could have been more effective; from what I have heard from multiple sources, there appears to have been an unfortunate failure of leadership to effectively mobilize individuals, groups, both local and national, that could have stepped in to help avoid this bad ending.

It's tragic and ironic that just as people around the world began to learn that these remarkable birds gave them a reason to visit Yacolt (and provide a new source of eco-tourism revenue to the town and local businesses), it appears that the birds have succumbed to the elements, crushing an opportunity before it had a chance to bloom.