SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

Last Chance for Animals

April 20, 2016 20:22 ET

LCA and SHARK Stop Mass Slaughter of Cormorants on Oregon's East Sand Island

EAST SAND ISLAND, OR--(Marketwired - April 20, 2016) - Animal advocacy groups, Last Chance for Animals (LCA) and Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), are blocking the mass slaughter of cormorants by federal government agents on East Sand Island in northern Oregon.

On board the boat, The Bob & Nancy -- provided by game show legend Bob Barker and named after him and fellow animal advocate Nancy Burnet -- the animal advocacy groups are following USDA Wildlife Services as the agents attempt to shoot cormorants and destroy their nests. The groups are equipped with multiple cameras and a drone capable of capturing aerial video.

Wildlife Services agents are trying to hide the slaughter from the public, so they will not kill the cormorants when LCA and Shark are present and are using evasive tactics.

LCA Founder and President Chris DeRose described one incident, "We gave high-speed chase to the agents right to the harbor. They were in clear violation of running with no lights and the wake rule in the harbor."

LCA and SHARK are encouraging anyone with a boat to come out to the island and help protect the cormorants. "We are putting a call out to all interested organizations to get out here with boats -- owned, rented, borrowed, whatever. We plan to put a virtual screen around the Sand Island area 24 hours a day, rain or shine, for as long as it takes," said Steve Hindi, SHARK president.

Wildlife Services plans to kill about 3,114 double-crested cormorants, 93 Brant's cormorants and 9 Pelagic cormorants and destroy 5,247 double-crested cormorant nests at East Sand Island in 2016. They claim they are slaughtering the cormorants because the birds eat salmon and steelhead, which are dwindling in number. However, conservation groups say these wild fish populations are declining because of humans, not cormorants, and that dams, habitat loss and fish hatcheries are to blame.

East Sand Island is about 60 acres and home to an assortment of birds, including the largest breeding colony of Caspian Terns in the world, largest breeding colony of double-crested cormorants in North America and largest post-breeding roost site for brown pelicans on the West Coast.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigations, legislation, and public awareness campaigns. Since its formation in 1984, LCA has succeeded as one of the nation's pioneer animal advocacy organizations. Working internationally, LCA's Sam Simon Special Investigations Unit documents abuse in research labs, puppy mills, factory farms, and the entertainment industry, and works with prosecutors to enforce animal cruelty laws.

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