‘Rain’ of dead birds on central NJ lawns explained; Federal culling program killed up to 5,000

By | January 28, 2009

http://weblog.sinteur.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/starlings.jpgThe black carcasses of dead starlings still pepper the snowy roads and lawns of central New Jersey’s rural Griggstown community three days after federal officials used a pesticide to kill as many as 5,000 of the birds.

Many residents Monday were still getting over their shock from the sudden spate of deaths. Some were unaware that the deaths resulted from an intentional culling and that the pesticide used was harmless to people and pets.

“It was raining birds,” said Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine. “It got people a little anxious.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture called local police last week and the Somerset County Health Department to warn them that a culling program was under way, but there was no notice that dead birds could fall from the sky, Levine said.Carol Bannerman, a USDA spokeswoman, said a bird-specific pesticide called DRC-1339 was used to kill the starlings. It is harmless to people and other animals, she said.

Bannerman said the starlings had to be killed because they were plaguing an area farm, where they were eating feed meant for cattle and chickens and defecating in feeding bowls.

“We’re very sorry that it played out the way that it did,” Bannerman said. She said the USDA will try to do a better job of notifying the public in the future.

Federal employees dispensed the pesticide on Friday. Birds that ingest it usually die within three days, Bannerman said, so the die-off should have run its course by Monday.

The DRC-1339 pesticide is commonly used to protect farms and feedlot operations from European starlings, which are considered an invasive species by the USDA. One hundred starlings brought to the U.S. in 1890 have grown into the nation’s most numerous bird species, Bannerman said.

via ‘Rain’ of dead birds on central NJ lawns explained; Federal culling program killed up to 5,000 — Newsday.com.

Humans have grown to be the nation’s most numerous primate species.

2 thoughts on “‘Rain’ of dead birds on central NJ lawns explained; Federal culling program killed up to 5,000

  1. Ann

    Most of us don’t realize the extent of the damage we and our ancestors have done.

    Native Americans lived on this continent and perhaps, so I read, during the course of their history, were responsible for the extinction of several species. But, they lived here for over 10,000 years. Fairly good record, I’d say.

    When Europeans arrived there were flocks of “passenger pigeons” so thick that they shaded the sun as they flew over. On the Midwest prairies there were herds of bison so vast they stretched “as far as the eye could see.” etc. etc.

    Imagine this: You could go to a quiet stream and, without worry, drink the water, because it was clean.

    It’s not that we just killed off numerous species. We have replaced it with chemicals and pollution: think, e.g., “jet fuel” in breast milk. And, you wonder why the incidence of breast cancer has been increasing?

    I don’t think any of us like this, but put the blame on the right entities:

    It began over a 100 years ago with the concept of “Manifest Destiny” and such things as the relationship of the government with industrial railroad tycoons and development of the transcontinental railroad. etc. etc.

    If any corporation tells you how “green” it is, it’s a lie.

  2. Xeno Post author

    There was a Star Trek episode with an idea I totally loved. The Enterprise lands on a new planet and meets some people walking around in simple clothes without any visible technology. One of the Enterprise crew assumes they are primitive, but it turns out they are just as advanced. It just happens that they evolved their technology in a way that it harmonizes with nature and is essentially invisible. Rather than destroy our technology to save the planet, my desire is that we would recognize how primitive we are now and evolve in such a direction.

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