Action Alert: Help Stop Raven Killing in Eastern Oregon
We are sharing an important action alert from Portland Audubon. Please consider signing.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking permits to kill up to 1,500 Common Ravens in Baker County over the next three years.
The birds will be killed using poisoned eggs, a food source for both ravens and other species. The young of the poisoned birds will be left to starve to death in their nests and non-target species will also be put at significant risk of poisoning.
ODFW says that killing ravens is necessary in order to protect Sage Grouse nests from predation, but it has no research to show that ravens are actually predating on Sage Grouse nests in Baker County.ODFW has also failed to develop other strategies to adequately address significant human causes of Sage Grouse decline.
We need your help to send a strong message to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject ODFWs permit application and to select the “No Action” alternative in the related Environmental Assessment for this proposal.
Portland Audubon is deeply concerned about Sage Grouse declines in Baker County and across the west. We have worked for decades to recover declining Sage Grouse populations and serve on Oregon’s collaborative “SageCon” Partnership which developed the Oregon Sage Grouse Action Plan. However, poisoning Ravens in Eastern Oregon is yet another example of wildlife agencies scapegoating one species for the decline of another while failing to adequately address the primary human causes for that decline.
Killing up to 500 ravens a year for three years in Baker County is not supported by on the ground research. ODFW has provided no research demonstrating that ravens are actually predating on Sage Grouse nests in Baker County. The permit application is based entirely on speculation based on a very small studies conducted elsewhere that show that ravens can impact Sage Grouse nesting success.
State and Federal Agencies have failed to adequately address other causes of Sage Grouse declines such as a large 4,918 acre off road vehicle area that sits on public lands within the designated Sage Grouse Priority Area for Conservation.
ODFW has not attempted to use non-lethal strategies in Baker County to reduce raven predation such as reducing supplemental food sources, unnatural perching opportunities, etc. In fact none of the three action alternatives presented include non-lethal approaches to Raven management.
The proposed lethal control plan is not sufficient to prevent killing of non-target species including other birds and animals that may consume poisoned eggs and predators that may consume ravens while the poison is still in their system.
The proposed lethal control is inhumane. Poisoned ravens will die a slow death due to renal failure. Their young will be left to starve to death in their nests.
The proposal to kill ravens comes at a time when the Trump Administration is reducing critical protections for Sage Grouse across the west including allowing increased grazing on some BLM lands in Oregon identified as Sage Grouse Priority Areas for Conservation. It is outrageous that the Federal Government would allow the killing of up to 1,500 ravens without strong supporting research, while at the same time decreasing strategies for protecting Sage Grouse that have overwhelming scientific support.
The agency that will actually do the killing, USDA Wildlife Services, has a long and troubling history of indiscriminate, inhumane and ineffective killing of wildlife in the United States
Please tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to select the “no action” alternative and reject ODFWs application to kill Ravens in Baker County.