Poisoning Ravens Won't Save Sage Grouse

Strike two, people. 

Last week I posted a blog in response to the potential cancelation of sage grouse hunting season in Montana.  As I explained in the blog, hunters are bearing a disproportionate burden with this announcement considering that hunting isn’t even a major threat to the sage grouse as opposed to grazing and oil and gas development.   Now according to this article, a letter is circulating Washington, D.C. in hopes of removing ravens from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so folks in Utah can go on a killing spree of these “ravaging” ravens in the name of sage grouse conservation. 

Let’s get a couple things straight:

  1. The FWS didn’t even list predation (by ravens or any other species) as a major threat to the sage grouse their 2010 decision to consider protecting the bird under the Endangered Species Act.
  2. Science is crystal clear that predator control—which in this case would involve poisoning ravens—has not been shown to be an effective method over any significant area or duration of time.

Imagine the leaps and bounds of progress we could see if the same folks that put their energy into organizing mass raven slaughtering put some thought into fixing issues that actually have been recognized to threaten sage grouse survival!  Stop wasting your time and our tax payer dollars, and start making meaningful attempts to protect the sage grouse by protecting the one thing that would actually help them: their habitat.