WMC Conservation Newsletter Summer 2018- Illinois Conservation

Bird Justice – Migratory birds and the laws that protect them

In April of this year, five men were indicted by a federal grand jury for alleged baiting and luring of migratory birds on guided hunting trips through their company Show Me Your Snows. The men were charged with two felonies: violation of the Lacey act and allowing the unlawful sale of wildlife, as well as misdemeanors for baiting wildlife and using an electronic calling device to lure geese or ducks to be killed. Read the full article here.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is a U.S. federal law to protect birds that migrate between the U.S. and Canada. Later amendments included Mexico, Japan, and Russia. The Act makes it unlawful, without a waiver, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell birds listed within the act as migratory birds, live or dead, as well as any parts of the birds such as feathers, eggs, and nests. Some notable exceptions are the eagle feather law, which regulates the taking, possession and transport of bald and golden eagles and their parts for scientific, educational, and depredation control purposes, or for religious purposes of American Indian tribes.

Migratory Birds in Flight

 

The Lacey Act of 1900 is a conservation law that prohibits the trade of wildlife, fish and plants that have been taken, possessed, transported, or sold illegally. The law makes allowances for the Secretary of the Interior to aid in restoring game and birds in parts of the U.S. where they have become extinct or rare, as well as regulating the introduction of animals to places where they have not existed previously. Today, the Lacey act is primarily used to prevent the importation or spread of potentially dangerous non- native species.

Continue reading: WMC_newsletter_may2018

Kate Keets VM2021

WMC Conservation Chair

WMC Conservation Newsletter Summer 2018- Illinois Conservation

Illinois’ Environmental Protection System Deteriorates after 50 Years

In 1970, the Illinois state legislature passed one of the country’s first Environmental Protection Acts. It established three offices, the Pollution Control Board to legislate, the Institute for Environmental Quality for independent environmental research, and the Environmental Protection Agency as the enforcement arm conducting inspections and finding violations. In the last 15 years the EPA’s staff has been cut in half, the Institute for Environmental Quality has been eliminated, and the budget for the Pollution Control Board has been combined with the EPA’s budget. According to Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental health at the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, the EPA is proposing rules and changes through the Pollution Control Board that will decrease the air quality in Illinois leading to increased risk of asthma and stroke. For more information read the full article from CU-CitizenAssess.org by Johnathan Hettinger.

Continue reading: WMC_newsletter_may2018

Kate Keets VM2021

WMC Conservation Chair

WMC Conservation Newsletter Summer 2018- Illinois Conservation

River Otters Are the New Comeback Kids

When wildlife biologist Andrew Rutter, who studied river otters at Southern Illinois University, came to Lake County in 2016 he did not expect to see much action. Nearly wiped out from trapping, habitat destruction, and poor water quality in the early 1900s, River otters were listed as endangered in Illinois in 1989. At that time, only about 100 otters existed in Illinois. After a three-year reintroduction effort began in 1994, where 346 otters were released in central and southern Illinois, the otter population rebounded. Delisted by 2004, their population was estimated to be 30,000 in 2014 according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

According to Rutter, river otters have been able to adapt to the urban landscape including Lake County as well as Cook County where otters have been spotted in the Chicago River near downtown Chicago. For more information, find the original article from Lake County News-Sun.

Continue reading: WMC_newsletter_may2018

Kate Keets VM2021

WMC Conservation Chair