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Stop the State-Sanctioned Killing of Connecticut's Monk Parakeets

November 17, 2005 | Monk Parakeet

Connecticut's United Illuminating Company in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has started destroying Monk Parakeet nests and gassing the birds living there.

The bulk of the killings are currently being undertaken in West Haven, but will soon spread to Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport and beyond. The $125,000 program, supported by both Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection and Connecticut's Audubon Society, targets 103 nests throughout the state.

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Friends of Animals condemns the program: "This should get people enraged," said President Priscilla Feral. "These bright green birds delight many people, should not be harmed, and should be considered as a replacement for our extinct Carolina Parakeet. The DEP has long wanted to kill any animals that are not native, as if we ourselves are natives."

Many of these South American birds, brought to the United States more three decades ago, escaped and settled along Connecticut's coast. Their large, intricate nests, which they often build on utility poles are said to be a hazard to public safety. Yet the electric company only notes two incidents where nests were found at the site of a fire.

The USDA's agents who kill birds and animals at taxpayer's expense for private industry, plan to use Connecticut's program as a test case. If successful, the agency may start using similar draconian measures in other states.

Please call for an end to the sanctioned extermination of these in birds that is being subsidized by taxpayers and customers of the utility company.

Contact:

The United Illuminating Company
UIL Holdings Corporation
157 Church Street
P.O. Box 1564
New Haven, CT 06506

Nathaniel Woodson, Chairman of the Board and CEO
nathaniel.woodson@uinet.com
Phone: 203 926-4637
Fax: 203-499-3286

USDA, Massachusetts/ Rhode Island/ Connecticut
Monte Chandler
monte.d.chandler@aphis.usda.gov
463 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413)-253-2403

The Connecticut Audubon Society
Milan Bull
2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT 06824
203-259-6305, ext 113
mbull@ctaudubon.org

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
Wildlife Division
Dale May
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
860-424-3011
dale.may@po.state.ct.us

Related information

Comments

I am a resident of the seaside community in Milford, Connecticut and delight in seeing these beautiful birds. I just e-mailed Mr. Woodson at United Illuminating asking if there was any way of putting up a cage like grid over the transformers to keep the birds from causing any damage. When I heard what they were doing to erradicate the Monk Parakeets on the news this morning, it literaly made me sick. They are claiming that the birds are a non-native invasive species of Connecticut. My response is that People numbering over 6 Billion in this world are an invasive species. Does that mean its ok to kill people? I think not!

I found a injured wild monk parakeet in my driveway.We brought her into our home.It became a loving member of our family.She was the most loving and gentle creature.Everyone who came into contact with her feel in love and wanted one for themselfs.Im sorry to she has pasted on.because we loved her so much it was one of the saddess days in our household.These creatures are intelligent, communicating,sensitive, and very loving.In loving memory of our love ZOE Im disturbed about what is being done to these precious birds. West Haven CT

I am outraged with the United Illuminating Company. I am outraged with the United States Department of Agriculture. I am outraged by the State of Connecticut's Department of Enviromental Protection. I am outraged by the State of Connecticut's Audubon Society. I called the CT. "Report Wildlife Violations" Dept. (1-800-842-HELP)to share my outrage and to find out who could put this to an immediate halt. I was told to call the Wildlife Dept. (1-860-424-3011)which, again, I expressed my outrage. I was then told to call the United Illuminating. I asked "why?" and was told that "well, they are the one's that are doing it". I responded in tears that "these birds are not responsible for any deaths in this state. These incredible birds adapted to our climate and our coastline! I said "It is mankind that has earmarked our planet for DOOM". I said the "United Illuminating is being paid to commit this crime against those beautiful parrots but this State of Connecticut and the different departments put together this plan to kill these birds and they are the criminals, they are the guilty and they are destroying our planet!" I beg all who reads this to call the numbers above and express yourself loud and clear! Also the phone number for the United States Dept. of Agriculture is 1-413-253-8643. Please be a strong voice for the MONK PARROTS!!!

Here is a copy of a letter I sent to Mr. Woodson from the United Illuminating Company. -------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Mr. Woodson, My name is Belinda Martinez and I am a resident of Meriden, CT. I am also a loving mother of two girls, two boys, two Jack Russell Terriers, a Sun Conure and a Monk Parakeet. My Monk Parakeet was given to me as a gift by my mother in law who purchased the bird in NY where they are perfectly legal (he is banded). My Baby (that's his name) is a beautiful 8 yr old Monk Parakeet that has brought nothing but joy into our lives. He brightly greets us in the mornings by saying "good morning" and coos us to sleep at night by saying softly "I love you". I understand the reasoning behind your company wanting to eliminate any potential damage but how can this be accurately assessed if there are only two instances where nests were actually found at a fire site and mind you, they were not the cause of the fire!!!! These beautiful birds are not hurting anyone. They are intelligent beautiful creatures that by man's own mistake were released into our environment and were able to adapt. TO ADAPT!!!!! These beautiful birds went from sunshine and warmth from Central America to a four season climate and were able to adapt. DON'T YOU SEE!!!!! THAT IS NATURE AT ITS BEST!!!!! How can you defy nature and evolution by trying to extinguish such a precious addition to our state? Was it not bad enough that we lost our own bird the Carolina Parakeet? Why discriminate so much against an indefensive creature? Why not try to resort to other measures that are not so extreme? I've attached some pictures of my precious Baby for you to see...just look at how precious he is...He is an invaluable member of my family, and much like with my kids, there is NOTHING I will NOT do to protect him and keep him safe. I urge you to please reconsider your company's position and eagerness in wanting to KILL such an innocent creature. Appreciating in advance your assistance in addressing this situation, I remain, Sincerely, Belinda Martinez Meriden, CT

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? These people are able to go home at night and sleep after gassing living creatures to death!!!!!Interesting how this got swept right under the carpet and this "plan" was never voted on or released to any media!!!!!Who ever came up with this as a "solution" is a sick, sick individual. PROTEST!!!!!!!!!! Help save the innocent parrots. There has to be another solution.

If you are reading this, please raise your voice in opposition. Only a blizzard of outraged correspondence is going to change this policy. I wrote the following letter and a similar letter to the states' DEP and the Audobon Society: Dear Mr. Woodson: Although I am no animal rights activist, as a monk parakeet owner, I feel compelled to express my extreme disappointment with UIL's policy of extermination of these remarkably intelligent and sensitive birds. While I acknowledge that there may be a risk of power outage or fire--albeit a very slight one, considering the paucity of any serious incidents to date--surely there are less drastic measures to be taken, most likely costing less than the $125,000 earmarked for the extermination. It would seem that the mere addition of an inexpensive cover, or even a chicken wire-like material, to the affected transformers should be sufficient to solve the problem. This current policy evinces a gross disrespect to wildlife, which is sadly reminiscent of the type of 19th century attitude which led to the extinction of so many of our native species, including the United States' only indigenous parrot: the once-ubiquitous Carolina parakeet. On behalf of these defenseless creatures, I urge UIL to reconsider its policy. Very truly yours, Andrew Gentile Attorney

Please, PLEASE cease this senseless slaughter! The Monk Parrots are beautiful, intelligent animals who despite all odds, grace us with their very being. ... I cannot even comprehend what kind of person could carry out the cold-blooded murder of them. They should be protected and revered. Shame on you!!!

I am a Stratford, CT resident and I think that what the UI is doing is absolutely outrageous and disgusting. These beautiful monk paraketes are innocent animals being destroyed by the UI so that they can raise our rates because they claim they aren't hitting their goals. I'm sure this erradication process costs a considerable amount of money. Why can't they put that money into just moving the animals to another area. How these people can sleep at night is beyond me. Leave these beautiful birds alone!!! New York has found a way to save them, so why can't Connecticut do the same?

I received this message from Brenda Piper tonight. We desperately need a lawyer in CT to stop the carnage! Here is her message: The Connecticut Association For Aviculture is mobilizing as we speak. I am a firm believer that most government officials, elected or appointed, as well as business people will only listen to residents of their state. This is why it is very very important that any and all CT residents turn out in force via phone and email to stop the carnage. If anyone on this list is a lawyer or knows a lawyer practicing in CT that would be willing to help us get an injunction to halt the utility, please have them contact me immediately at pipersparrots@comcast.net. Thank you. Brenda Piper President The Connecticut Association For Aviculture

I am sickened and outraged over this senseless slaughter of the beautiful Monk parakeets. Just think - our money - taxes and UI dollars - is going towards this. And using them for experiments? This adds to the trajedy. I can still remember the astonishment and joy I felt when I saw the first one in Bridgeport. Whenever my neighbor and I would hear one, we would rush outside to try and catch a glimpse. Everyone was thrilled over them - if you remember, there was a steady stream of cars riding by their nest in Black Rock. Now we are killing them. There must be some other way to handle this situation. I will do whatever possible to stop this.

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