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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

For Julie -- The birds are attacked and gassed in the USDA's truck around 8:00 pm at night. Some neighbors are turning off their lights at that time each night in protest. Others won't display holiday nights. Keep the letters going to the governor and to Nathaniel Woodson, Chair and CEP of United Illuminating. Fax letters to 203-499-3286. e-mail: nathaniel.woodson@uinet.com Priscilla Feral President Friends of Animals

I live on the West Haven Coast line and the birds live across the street from us. They are one of the reasons i love where i live. They've adapted to our climate and have established their home here. How many people can ever say they have an exotic bird living in their hometown. Ive never lost electricity nor have i ever seen fires start from the nests. People are facinated by them and always take pictures of them. The UI company has no right in killing these birds and it needs to stop. We love the birds here in West Haven.

I am completely outraged that the senseless murder of innocent monk parakeets is occurring under our very noses, at our expense!! These are beautiful, sensitive and intelligent creatures. It should be a crime to harm any one of them. YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!!!! How would you feel if you were targeted to be exterminated? Is this fair? I THINK NOT!!!! What I find most disturbing is that this was supported by the Connecticut Audobon and the DEP?????

I too am greatly disturbed by the parakeet exterminations going on in my community of West Haven and in other shoreline communities. I have written to express my objectons to UI, the USDA, the DEP and the Audubon Society. I am sure there are many concered people like myself who would be more than willing to spend the time and effort or whatever it takes to help find a more humane and effective alternative to this extermination project. What can we do?

I was just reading an article in a trade publication (Nov. issue of Light and Medium Truck) dealing with United Illuminating's problems with monk parakeets. The article quotes one of UI's reliability engineers and states that animals, mainly squirrels, are responsible for about 9% of United Illuminating's power outages each year. Only 9% and mainly squirrels?! So how did the monk parakeets get to be the scapegoat for UI's power outages?...

The way they want to treat this problem -- by killing the parakeets -- is not the right way because we are already trying to solve too many of these problems (with coyotes, deer, etc.) by killing animals. Also, they are not carrying disease, so they could easily be moved to another area.

If the CT EPA and CT Audobon condone this horror, shame on them! There are other ways... follow Con Edison's example. Stop the gassing!! UI should be ashamed.

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Parakeets' Plight in Connecticuit Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 05:35:57 -0600 To: nathaniel.woodson@uinet.com, monte.d.chandler@aphis.usda.gov, mbull@ctaudubon.org, dale.may@po.state.ct.us Parakeets' Plight in Connecticut I would hope that with some of the brilliant minds in Connecticut better solutions could be found than killing species off in mans' way! Sincerely, Duane Tash Lenexa, Kansas "I do this really moronic thing that the government doesn't want me to do. It is called thinking" - George Carlin --

Though I am not a resident of Connecticut, I am moved by these developments to share these thoughts. As others have written, if this species fills the niche of the Carolina parakeet, is able to survive in a northeastern environment, then perhaps it is more beneficial to have this animal than otherwise. Exterminate/destroy in the absence of other options, or the first option is old-school thinking. Let's think of more imaginative alternatives. If we are going to be concerned with the effects of this "invasive", then perhaps a more appropriate review of "invasive" species is the effects of urban sprawl on the Eastern Seaboard on the local and regional ecosystem. To those in the position of power. Use alternative, more humane means I am confident you have at your disposal. The number of incidents alleged to have caused problems do not warrant wholesale slaughter. Let's have some new thinking here.

i hope my signature helps.

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