[Tweeters] Solutions for extirpated birds

Johnson, Mary MJohnson at becu.org
Sun Jun 5 20:35:01 PDT 2005

This talk about nighthawks begets a question that I've wanted to ask.  Why is it that with extirpated birds, we can't just round up a bunch of them and let them loose in their former area to see if they will repopulate the place?  Take the Western Bluebird, for example, which apparently was a regular resident in the Puget Sound area at one time; it seems like there are still many tracts of suitable habitat for them--although, granted, the nesting issue would have to be addressed.  Anyway, that's just one example of a bird that wouldn't require the intense care of, say, a California Condor.
I have already thought of several likely reasons why this sort of thing isn't done, particularly that we should consider the birds' welfare first, but I would love to hear what Tweeters have to say about it.  We all know the horror stories about introduced species that wreak havoc in their new habitat (I'm looking at you, starlings and house sparrows!) but I haven't heard about re-introducing extirpated species.
Mary Johnson
Auburn, WA
mjohnson at becu.org

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