When the mouse population crashes during the winter months due to low food supply, the owls turn to the ashy storm petrel as their new food source. Published on Jun 27, 2019 The US Fish and Wildlife Department is floating a controversial plan to dump one and a half tons of poison pellets on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge to … (iStock, File) After a presentation on how these projects are carried out and why one is needed at the Farallon Islands, we were divided into groups and sent to separate corners of the large room. Fast forward to the fall of 2013 and a 741 page Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIS) is released. In the 19th century, European colonists used the Farallon Islands to hunt birds and marine mammals and gather eggs. What happened to this dog has the potential to be replicated by a number of species that live in, or close to the fragile ecosystem of the Farallon Islands, if brodifacoum or other anticoagulants were to be aerially broadcast across the terrain. This week, the marine sanctuary’s advisory council, which advises sanctuary superintendent Maria Brown, held a meeting on the proposal and approved a resolution seeking information about the plan. Response to Opposition to Eradicate Invasive Mice from the Farallon Islands. Page 139 contains the statement that "Adverse effects as a result of possible sub-lethal exposure are unknown for brodifacoum or diphacinone." The exclusion of this critical information equates to "cherry picking" of science. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to dump 1.5 tons of rat poison pellets on the Farallon Islands to get rid of the invasive mice. Based on the data from USFWS the majority of the owls' diet appears to be invertebrates and mice. Critics of the proposal say they understand the need to address the mice impacts on the island’s ecology, but argue the federal agency should consider other alternatives to poison. ~ EPA comment letter, 12/09/13. While the DEIS states that no choice of alternatives has been made, the text clearly indicates that the reader is being strongly encouraged to select Alternative B, the use of Brodifacoum as the preferred alternative. In our scoping comments, we raised potential conflict of interest issues if Island Conservation were to prepare the impact assessment and also carry out the eradication project. “I believe there are some concerns from some individuals about the methods that will be used and those issues were brought up to the staff several times,” Jahncke said. 72 of the DEIS). Written by Island Conservation under two Cooperative Agreements found here, and here. The EPA also makes mention of this omission on page 11 of their 18 page comment letter found here. My plea to USFWS is to remember the work of one of their own most influential biologists, Rachel Carson. When it comes to protecting our oceans and marine life, Richard is a seasoned advocate on issues such as marine spatial planning and the prevention and mitigating of industrial impacts on ocean ecosystems. Visitors view a section of the Farallon Islands from a whale-watching tour boat about 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco. Charter, who is one of the council’s conservation members, argues the agency has not provided adequate information about the potential impacts the poison could have on non-targeted species that could potentially end up on local beaches. According to NEPA's (National Environmental Policy Act) rules of engagement, financial interests of parties involved need to be disclosed in the environmental impact statement. This is how the food web becomes contaminated. The conclusions in the RDEIS are founded on what we deem to be a faulty and incomplete analysis. Dolphins and Penguins Die Following Drops in New Zealand USFWS scientists believe the burrowing owls are staying longer than they normally would if the mice were not there. Biologist Sonce DeVries recently retired from USFWS after 22 years. I reached out to USFWS and asked for a comment with respect to that mission and how this project is contradictory. Learn more. Point Blue’s study states removing the mice would have a significant impact on restoring the petrel population. To better understand what happens with island eradication projects, watch this news report which tells what happened on two islands in New Zealand after brodifacoum was aerially dropped over two islands. The DEIS does not meet that requirement." "Much information can be obtained from previous rodent eradication attempts and it is not clear that lessons learned from these projects have been integrated into the planning for the proposed project. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. “ Marin IJ: Farallon Islands mice eradication plan nearing review The islands of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge host the largest seabird breeding colony in the United States outside of Alaska and Hawai`i. Her six page comment letter found here reflects many of the same concerns I have regarding the inaccurate and misleading science behind this proposed project. I have since learned that the eradication attempt at Palmyra Atoll resulted in bait getting into the water and fish becoming a contaminated food supply. “We are returning to the commission to respond to their questions from last year’s hearing and provide a more thorough presentation on the proposed project,” Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Erin Curtis wrote in an email. The burrowing owl is also a species of special concern. 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