BY SYD SINGER – U.S. taxpayers are about to foot the bill to kill birds in Hawaii. Obama’s wildlife officials are declaring war against cattle egrets and barn owls throughout the President’s home state. While Putin and Assad are facing an increasingly dovish US military, birds in Hawaii are facing an increasingly hawkish US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hawaii’s airspace is becoming a no fly zone for these introduced birds that are protected under international migratory bird treaties. Brought to Hawaii by the government in the 1950’s for rodent and insect pest control, their services are no longer valued by the feds, who are effectively saying the birds’ work visas have expired. Even birds that are no threat to endangered species will be killed, just to make sure they stay as no threat, showing the Obama administration is, indeed, tough on immigrants.
Meanwhile, the increase in rat and mice populations will expose residents to increased risk of rodent carried diseases, including leptospirosis, which is widespread throughout Hawaii. Children and pets are particular vulnerable. Ranchers will need to spend more spraying cattle for flies, and crop damage from insect pests is expected to rise, along with food prices.
Tourism may also suffer, as the beautiful and common sight of flocks of white egrets flying in V formation becomes a thing of the past. Obama has certainly seen and admired these egrets during his golfing trips to Hawaii. Tourists may also get their feathers ruffled by seeing flocks of egrets shot during broad daylight in clear public view, as was done in Hilo in 2010.
Concerned residents have launched a petition at www.DontKilltheBirds.org to ask President Obama to give the egrets and owls a reprieve. There are better ways to spend taxpayer dollars than on bird hunting expeditions in Hawaii for wildlife officials.