- Mendo birders,
I hope that you will bear with me for one more post about seabirds.
Just to keep a little perspective on the tragedy of seabirds killed
in the tsunami, see below what the US Navy is up to, regarding Bombs
Just unbelievable. To read the whole article:
Below, is part of it:
Amidst the destruction of its natural environment No'os is the
largest of only two breeding colonies for the Great Frigatebird of
the Mariana Islands, is the largest known nesting place in the
Mariana and Caroline islands for the Masked Booby, and is home to
another rare bird, the endangered Micronesian Megapode (seemap of
No'os showing bird locations on the island).
The Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby, Sooty Tern, Brown Noddy, Black
Noddy, Fairy Tern and Red-tailed Tropicbird are also known to nest on
Based on international conventions between the US, Canada, Mexico,
Japan, and Russia, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918 is
one of the oldest US conservation laws. It prohibits harm to
migratory species by means of hunting, pursuing, wounding, killing,
possessing or transporting any migratory bird, nest, egg, or part,
with the exception of cases governed by permits issued in accordance
with rules and regulations. Under the Act, a migratory bird is
defined as "any species or family of birds that live, reproduce or
migrate within or across international borders at some point during
their annual life cycle."
Admitting that protected birds are in fact killed during training
exercises, the US Navy in 1996 applied for a permit from the US Fish
and Wildlife Service and was denied. Despite this, the Department of
Defense continued training exercises on the island, claiming that the
Act (MBTA) did not apply to federal agencies.
In December of 2000 the Center For Biological Diversity, represented
by Earthjustice (formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund), filed
a lawsuit against the US Navy, citing violations of the 1918
Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In March 2002 the US District for the
District of Columbia ruled in favor of Earthjustice and issued an
injunction against any military activities that would harm or kill
the birds of No'os.
The US Navy, however, pursued other avenues for exemption and was
granted one by the US Congress through the 2003 Defense Authorization
As military activities on and around No'os continue with impunity,
the people of the Marianas are left with many questions that beg
answers, yet one thing remains certain: the presidential proclamation
to create the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument issued in 2009
under the Bush administration, while ensuring that military war games
go unhindered, has cordoned off a part of the ancient archipelago of
the Marianas from those who call these islands home.
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024
SVALBARD: High Arctic Seabirds & Polar Bears, Walrus: 8-18 July &
18-28 July, 2012
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