Date of this Version
Populations of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) have increased dramatically in the last 2 decades, particularly in the Great Lakes and the Southeastern United States. Their food habits and propensity for killing the trees in which they nest and roost have made cormorants the subject of much controversy. Cormorants affect—or are perceived to affect—sport fishing, aquaculture operations, vegetation, and other colonial waterbirds. Anglers, aquaculturists, resort operators, lakehome owners, politicians, and others are calling for a solution to these problems. This symposium was convened to provide information that will help conservation agencies and others make sound resource management decisions about cormorants. The objectives of the symposium were to: (1) provide up-to-date information on the status and biology of double-crested cormorants; (2) review scientific evidence related to the impacts of cormorants on sport fish, aquaculture operations, vegetation, and other colonial waterbirds; (3) discuss options available to resolve human–cormorant conflicts and biological, social, economic, and political issues related to cormorant population control; (4) identify information needs (monitoring and research) related to cormorant management; and (5) enhance communication and coordination among all entities concerned about cormorants and the resources they can impact. Our emphasis is on the Midwest, but it is clear that migrant cormorants from other areas pass through this region and that all of these birds mix on the wintering grounds in the Southern United States.