Endangered Bird Calls Sniper Training Range Home

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Not only has the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike made it back from the brink if extinction, it’s done so while living in the middle of a US Navy Firing Range.

Not only has the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike made it back from the brink of extinction, it’s done so while living in the middle of a US Navy Firing Range.

In addition to sniper training, the sea-to-shore testing ground is also on the receiving end of numerous air and water assaults.

According to a Navy biologist, the songbirds don’t seem to mind the constant explosions and frenzied activity.

Of course, the 3 million dollars a year the Navy spends on its captive breeding program probably doesn’t hurt their repopulation, either.

The endangered birds are protected by orders not to shoot, and in some cases nests are moved out of harms way.

Naval efforts have paid off big. In the 1990s there were only 7 breeding pairs of the shrike and a recent count showed that number of birds has expanded to a significantly healthier 140.

As part of the effort to boost all dwindling wildlife on rocky, moon-like San Clemente Island,, indigenous plants and brush have been nurtured as well.

Where there was previously wasteland, now there’s vegetation so thick it’s reportedly difficult to walk through.

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