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Officials Drop Plans to Protect Terns from Gulls on Columbia River

flickr.com, shanth

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided that it is not going to continue killing gulls that have been eating all the baby Caspian terns at a nesting colony at the mouth of the Columbia River.

The point of the environmental assessment issued Monday was whether the continued failure of the tern colony on East Sand Island to produce young would drive the birds to return to another island upstream, where they consumed millions of baby salmon.  The corps concluded that new research indicates the terns are not likely to move the colony, so no action is needed.

Bob Sallinger of Portland Audubon says the situation points out how complicated it is getting to protect salmon from natural predators, when the real problem is the dams on the Columbia.

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