This is the story of the survival, recovery, astonishing success, and controversial status of the double-crested cormorant. After surviving near extinction driven by DDT and other contaminants from the 1940s through the early 1970s, the cormorant has made an unprecedented comeback from mere dozens to a population in the millions, bringing the bird again into direct conflict with humans. Hated for its colonial nesting behavior; the changes it brings to landscapes; and especially its competition with commercial and sports fishers, fisheries, and fish farmers throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi Delta regions, the cormorant continues to be persecuted by various means, including the shotgun. In The Double-Crested Cormorant, Dennis Wild brings together the biological, social, legal, and international aspects of the cormorant's world to give a complete and balanced view of one of the Great Lakes' and perhaps North America's most misunderstood species. In addition to taking a detailed look at the complex natural history of the cormorant, the book explores the implications of congressional acts and international treaties, the workings and philosophies of state and federal wildlife agencies, the unrelenting efforts of aquaculture and fishing interests to "cull" cormorant numbers to "acceptable" levels, and the reactions and visions of conservation groups. Wild examines both popular preconceptions about cormorants (what kinds of fish they eat and how much) and the effectiveness of ongoing efforts to control the cormorant population. Finally, the book delves into the question of climate and terrain changes, their consequences for cormorants, the new territories to which the birds must adapt, and the conflicts this species is likely to face going forward.
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|Title of eBook: The Double-Crested Cormorant|
|Release Date: 02-08-2012|
|Publisher: University of Michigan Press|
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The Double-Crested Cormorant
Chapter OneAssault on Little Galloo Island
An Act of Desperation
IN THE LONG RUN, 1998 was probably an average year, but it did have its own "firsts," its own records set, and its own claims to fame. In the world at large, Serbs and ethnic Albanians fought bloody battles in Kosovo; neighboring adversaries, India and Pakistan, detonated several nuclear devices in multiple tests; and three hundred million Europeans living in eleven countries agreed to deal in a single currency, the euro. In the United States, the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for lying about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and the New York Yankees claimed the World Series championship by defeating the San Diego Padres four games to zero. In theaters, the movie Titanic became the highest-grossing film ever, winning eleven Academy Awards. And on the small screen, seventy-six million American TV viewers watched the final episode of Seinfeld. Looking at the US economy in 1998, we paid just 32 cents for first-class stamps and $1.03 for a gallon of regular gas, while only 4.7 percent of us showed up in government unemployment statistics, less than half of what we counted in 2010. On a far, far smaller scale, the sport fishing boat trips and harvests on Lake Ontario plummeted for still another season. And a person or persons unknown illegally killed nearly a thousand federally protected double-crested cormorants on Little Galloo Island.
Besides the growing scarcity of game fish and fishermen, everything seemed the same as the previous year in New York's upstate village of Hender...