U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Start Bird Hazing Operations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2008
Peter Tuttle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (251) 424-0635
Tom MacKenzie, 678-296-6400, Tom_MacKenzie@fws.gov
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is directing the installation of 100 propane cannons designed to scare birds away from contaminated marshes and swamps along the Mississippi River.
Propane cannons are machines that ignite propane gas to produce loud explosions at timed or random intervals. They will be located in areas of high use by water birds like egrets, herons and ducks, and moved around every few days.
“The noise is extremely loud,” said Buddy Goatcher, Contaminants Specialist with the FWS. “We are placing the cannons mostly in the battures, the swamps inside the levees, to keep feeding birds from oiled areas.”
The cannons are expected to be set up by qualified contractors, supervised by FWS Contaminants Specialists over the next few days.
“While these cannons are useful tools to frighten birds, they could pose a threat to anyone getting within 500 feet of one,” said Goatcher. “To insure your safety, please stay away from them.”
These cannons will be augmented with modified flare guns and starter pistols that fire special bird scare cracker shells. These devices will be used by the Incident Command’s Wildlife Group biologists from the FWS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The noise-making operation is expected to continue until the swamp areas are cleaned.
The Hotline to report oiled wildlife is (504) 393-0353. Reports should include time of sighting, location, and contact name and phone number.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife,
plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. Visit the Service’s Web site at http://www.fws.gov or the
Southeast Web site at http://www.fws.gov/southeast.