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Action alert: Stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island

June 27, 2014: We need your help to stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island.

Action alert: Stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island

Double-crested Cormorants on East Sand Island - Joe Liebezeit

June 27, 2014: We need your help to stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has announced it intends to kill more than 16,000 Double-crested Cormorants on East Sand Island at the mouth of the Columbia River. The Corps will be using shotguns to kill the birds over water, and rifles with night vision scopes and silencers to shoot the birds on the island’s nesting grounds. The East Sand Island colony represents 39 percent of the total breeding population of Double-crested Cormorants west of the Rocky Mountains. Why does the Corps want to kill these birds? For doing what comes naturally, eating fish.

The Corps has already spent millions of dollars trying to manipulate birds on East Sand Island. Now they are proposing lethal control on a historic and horrific scale.

The Audubon Society of Portland strongly opposes this proposal and urges its members to oppose it as well. It is time for the US Army Corps to do a ground-up review of its entire approach to managing birds in the Columbia Estuary. The focus for recovering salmon on the Columbia River should be on addressing the primary causes of salmon decline - dam operation and habitat loss - not on killing thousands of birds that have co-existed with salmon since time immemorial.

East Sand Island is home to the largest Caspian Tern colony in the world, the largest Double-crested Cormorant colony in the western United States, and the largest Brown Pelican roost in the Pacific Northwest. The island has been designated as an internationally recognized Important Bird Area by both Audubon and the American Bird Conservancy. Learn more about East Sand Island.

How You Can Help

Send an email: Please let the Corps know that you oppose the slaughter of cormorants on East Sand Island by sending them an email at cormorant-eis@usace.army.mil. Key messages are listed below.

donate.jpgDonate: Please make a donation to support our efforts to protect East Sand Island cormorants from this horrific lethal control.

Key messages:

  • You strongly oppose the lethal control of birds on East Sand Island;
  • Urge the Corps to focus on manmade causes of salmon decline including dams, habitat loss and hatcheries;
  • Let them know the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is inadequate because it fails to adequately address issues such as compensatory mortality, hatchery fish and wildly fluctuating salmon returns, and provides inadequate research on cormorant dispersal patterns if non-lethal alternatives were adopted;
  • Let the Corps know that you are concerned that Double-crested Cormorant populations are already estimated to be an order of magnitude lower than they were historically and that populations in the west outside of East Sand Island are declining.


Double-crested Cormorant - Scott Carpenter
Double-crested Cormorant - Scott Carpenter
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