Monday, January 19, 2009

Simple action could save hawks and eagles

Most Western Mass. residents have had the eerie experience of driving the Massachusetts Turnpike at night while approaching the Springfield exit and seeing fire burning in the sky-- seems that way, anyway, because we can't see the burners at the Chicopee landfill which are responsible for burning off accumulating methane.

I've often wondered why there isn't a way to recapture that methane instead of burning it but I never thought that the burner itself might be a hazard for hawks, eagle and other raptors.

Apparently, raptors will perch on the burners while looking for prey, completely unaware that fire could flare up at any moment. Most birds caught in that fire will die.

There's a simple and inexpensive solution-- install spikes or other excluder devices. Long-term solution? Find a way to use the gas so that burners are unnecessary.

There's a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that you can sign, asking them to direct landfill owners to make the necessary changes to their burners. Go to the Care2 petition site to sign.

Photos from the Petition Site and Paul W's photostream at Flickr.

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