Date of this Version
The subject I have been asked to speak on is “Where Are We?” As I assess it, I think that we, those who are using bird management agents and methods, Federal, State, and other agencies representing research, extension and regulatory, and manufacturers of agents used in bird management, are standing in the middle of a busy intersection and the light has just turned yellow. Some of us have tape across our mouths and cotton stuck in our ears. I think that we have arrived at this intersection in a number of different ways. Some of us have taken separate paths, some have taken parallel roads, and in some cases we have crossed paths and actually taken the same road together in reaching that point in time where we are today. But I think that the future of bird management today relies a great deal on what we do in the very near future, and I am talking about this year, next year, and maybe the next three years. I am not going to address myself to the techniques used in bird management, but rather the administrative and perhaps political aspects that we need to consider as people interested in bird management. There is a new Federal Act that says that many pesticides will be restricted use agents, and to use such pesticides you will be a certified applicator. We see this as presenting a challenge, not as a hinderance. I do not think that this will affect operations, at least PCO operations, to any significant extent. However, EPA has taken another action which I think is very significant. They have taken the role of adversary in exploring the registration of a number of control agents. In particular at this point, they are examining the use of 1080, sodium cyanide, calcium cyanide, and strychnine as vertebrate pest control agents. Strychnine is the only one involved at the present for bird management practices. However, the indications are that this kind of a review will be made of most, if not all of our pesticides in the near future.