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Couldn't find the link. Tried. Really.

So apparently our stupid fucking evil capitalist province is considering licensing the capture of wild eagle chicks.

Now. After the seizure of outrage, I considered this. They claim to be intending to be doing it to allow for commercial sale of trained birds. There were several reasons in the article I read, but there were only two that had any kind of coherence to them. First, they want to allow for a larger market of people using birds for hunting. WTF? What business does the province think it has supporting sport hunting? We had a policy going here, people. Conservation? Heard of it?
Second, they want to use falconers to deal with "nuisance birds" at the airport.
Okay... really... huh? I mean, okay, birds flying around in front of airplanes, probably bad. But what serious threat can a duck present to an incoming 747? I'm really curious. Is this along the same lines as driving instructors telling you not to freak out and swerve when you see a squirrel on the road? (They tell you not to stop for the cute little fuzzy things, but to try and avoid the big things like, say, moose, because they can cause some serious damage to a motor vehicle. Not that most of us, most emphatically including me, wouldn't try and avoid the cute fuzzy things anyway. dianahobart can attest to the time I swerved to avoid what she thought [screamed] was a cat. It turned out to be a McDonalds bag. o.O) They're afraid pilots will swerve to miss a pigeon and crash into the control tower? Can a 747 going bumpbump over a bird really endanger the flight?
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for keeping the stupid evil pigeons from being flattened by the big nasty aeroplanes. But sending falcons after them? Seems like overkill, to me. And don't the trained birds stand just as much chance of getting splatted as the "nuisance birds"? I mean, all right, they'd probably be watching them carefully, and all, but...
...and the possible law would allow for not just the capture of bald eagles, but for the capture of vulnerable species, including peregrines. I think (I'm not sure) that peregrines are actually, currently endangered. So what the HELL is this utilitarian bullshit doing in *my* government?

I want my bloody coup. I want it *now*. >.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC)
I remember seeing something about that on Beyond 2000. Apparently birds actually are a big threat to planes, especially the bigger birds, because they can cause damage to the motors if they get sucked into them (which happens frequently). I think the proposal was to train birds of prey not to kill the birds, but to "herd" them off the airports and teach them not to go back there because it's scary-predator-bird area. It's kind of interesting and not too inhumane, since not many falcons would be used.
Feb. 6th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I can see that bird-clogging would be an issue.

I don't think I'd have such a problem with it if they were sticking to the already-domesticated genetic stock. But they're talking about going out and capturing *wild* birds. That, I have a problem with. Aside from the generally utilitarian attitude, it sets an intensely bad precedent for so-called "wildlife management", to put it in the realm of "we need to make profit to be valid as a ministry!" Ugh.
Feb. 6th, 2004 04:58 pm (UTC)
There are approximately 700 bird strikes per month costing the aviation industry about a billion dollars per year, and there have been 370 people killed by birds since 1960; one third of those since 1995. Apparently a mallard duck can punch a hole through an airplane at take-off velocities.

As for the capturing of birds, I have been led to understand that if you want to make a non-lethal predator for airports, you have to train them from chicks, and there aren't sufficient numbers of domesticated birds to do this.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Chandri MacLeod

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