On October 20th the Cuyahoga County (Greater Cleveland) Chapter of the
League of Humane Voters sponsored a conference for local politicians and
community leaders on humane solutions to perceived deer population
problems. The conference took place in Solon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland,
where a deer cull had taken place early in 2005. The speakers included Dr.
Alan Rutberg from the faculty of Tufts University, Laura Simon Field
Director of HSUS’s urban wildlife program, John Strieter, the developer or
the Strieter Lite reflector system, and Peter Muller of Wildlife Watch and
the League of Humane Voters.
The conference was well attended and extensively covered by local
media. Many of the attending community office holders stated either they
would outright oppose a deer cull this coming year, or at least consider
alternative nonlethal methods of deer-control.
In our continuing effort to develop wildlife watching programs, we
attended a conference on Wildlife Watching at which almost all of the
other attendees were from either federal or state wildlife management
agencies. Given the opportunity to talk informally to the some of the
directors of Wildlife Watching programs undertaken by state fish and game
agencies, it became abundantly clear that the agencies see the Wildlife
Watching programs strictly as a source of new revenue to bolster the
flagging revenue stream from hunting license sales.
It was very clearly pointed out by the Director of the Wildlife
Watching program of Colorado that all the revenue derived from Wildlife
Watching programs would go into the Fish and Game budget – not one nickel
would be used to further fund improving or expanding the Wildlife Watching
program. The Wildlife Watching program will be continued to be funded by a
fixed portion of the revenue from the state lottery. This practice was the
rule rather than the exception. Our suspicions that the state agencies
look on Wildlife Watching as a source of funds rather than a new customer
base that needs to be accommodated were unfortunately confirmed.
Wildlife Watch sent a letter to the paper in response and it was
published. Following that we coincidentally received a call on our
wildlife hotline about a bat in a dorm room and we were able to turn the
student’s fear to concern for the bat who was gently contained and
released (using the above method) without incidence.
We are presently in the throes of preparing for the first Crow festival in Auburn, NY – by the time you receive this it will have happened. The event is sponsored and produced by C.R.O.W) Citizens Respectful of Wildlife and Wildlife Watch.
“Have some corn chips and please join Wildlife Watch and C.R.O.W. for an E-Crow Tourism Jaunt. Those ‘birders’ always forget about us – but we’re fascinating and smart
Place: Auburn, NY
Date: Sat. Nov. 26th, 2005
Time: 10:30 a.m. – Return Sunday, Nov. 27th by 5 p.m.
Price: $55/Person, $95 Couple
EVENT PRODUCERS: (C.R.O.W) Citizens Respectful of Wildlife
Price includes round-trip transportation between New Paltz (GWB option for $5 additional/3 person minimum) and Auburn, touring while there (depending on crows’ movements), guided tours and lectures by
Dr. Anne Clark, Biologist from Binghamton University (SUNY) and others who are knowledgeable about crows. A warm welcome from Auburn officials and the Dept. of Tourism; overnight stay at the Day’s Inn with a bird’s eye view of roosting crows (price based on double occupancy); Dinner at a local restaurant following the tour; complimentary breakfast at the motel and a tour of the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Dinner menu:
Bread basket, salad greens, raspberry vinaigrette, Mediterranean pasta, olives tapenade; Curried vegetables and beans with tofu; grilled polenta cakes with mushroom marinara; nutty wild rice pilaf; poached pears in raspberry sauce; tea cookies, dinner mints’ soft drinks, coffee and tea.
Learn about one of the largest winter crow roosts in the United States. Steve Johnson writes: “There are an estimated 3,000 families of crows in Auburn NY every winter (40-50,000 crows). Crows are commonly known to be the smartest birds on the planet. We know that they have a way of communicating with each other we haven’t begun to understand and they use tools!”
~Photo by Steve Johnson
Wildlife Watch can take a limited number of people, so please register early for this unique opportunity to watch one fine species in an urban and hopefully country setting (if the crows cooperate).
Come prepared with binoculars, cameras with zooms, layered clothing, walking shoes, sketch pad, a light heart, and good sense of humor.
Call 845-256-1400 to register or register online at
We hope to make this an annual event and have the town realize that more revenue comes into Auburn from the Crow festival than from the Crow shooting contest that was sponsored by a bar in Auburn last year. In our next issue we will report on the success of the festival.
Join us next time!
Wildlife Watch continues to help people help wildlife through our hotline number. Although it’s not the most active time of year, there are still many wild animals that find themselves in predicaments.