Drought is killing migratory birds on Lower Klamath

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By Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California

Even though it is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the continental Unites States, the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is perhaps one of the most underappreciated and unknown natural places in the West. Relatively few Californians are aware of this state treasure and few in Congress or the Administration seem willing to step up to help it.

That?s unfortunate, because the Lower Klamath needs help. Drought has reduced water deliveries to a trickle and left the refuge parched, forcing migratory waterfowl and other birds to crowd onto what little water there is on nearby Tule Lake. This type of overcrowding often results in the fast and easy spread of disease, and already biologists are documenting the deaths of thousands of birds from avian botulism.

This kind of die-off so early in the season doesn?t bode well. We could be looking at a major catastrophe if something isn?t done soon.

Read more here: Eureka Times-Standard, December 2, 2014

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