Date of this Version
The Double-crested Cormorant, the most abundant of North America’s six cormorant species, has rebounded to high numbers after new extirpation in the 1960s and early 1970s. Enhanced environmental regulations and the availability of prey fishes facilitated the resurgence of Double-crested Cormorant populations by the mid-1970s and numbers have continued to increase steadily in most geographic regions through the present. The North American population of Double-crested Cormorants has been estimated at one to two million birds. Concerns about impacts of Double-crested Cormorants on aquacultural stock, sport fish populations, other birds, vegetation, private property, and local economies have been raised. Economic impacts to Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus aquaculture are the best documented population increase and the biological and sociopolitical importance of these various concerns, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services, will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to consider the environmental impacts and effectiveness of various management alternatives for reducing human-cormorant conflicts. The Service intends to complete the final Environmental Impact Statement in early 2003.