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Environment

Environmental Update On Cormorants And Starfish

OPB | June 16, 2014 12:45 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a plan last week to deal with an over-abundant species of birds preying on endangered salmon in the Columbia River estuary. Ornithologists describe double-crested cormorants as “gangly” and “prehistoric-looking.” The proposed management plan (pdf) calls for reducing the cormorant population by killing 16,000 birds and oiling eggs to keep them from hatching. EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita will fill us in on the details of the management plan and the process for implementing it.

While cormorants are plentiful, starfish — also known as sea stars — are seeing a steep decline. Earlier this month, we heard that the devastating sea star wasting disease has spread to Oregon. Since then, EarthFix reporter Katie Campbell spoke to scientists researching the problem in the San Juan islands. She’ll give us the latest update on what could be causing the disease.

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