24th 2010
Better to wipe out a species than to play football on Saturdays?

Posted under endangered species

I recall an article about this several months ago.  The New York Times has an article about some high school football in Hawaii being switched to Saturday during the day instead of Friday nights as has been usual, in order to reduce deaths of Newell’s shearwater.  ”The birds take their first flight a few months after hatching from ground nests in Kauai’s wet mountain forests. These fledglings, some still with down feathers, are prone to mistaking the bright lights at sports fields, hotels, parking lots and other places for the moon and stars, leading them to repeatedly fly around in circles. They become exhausted and eventually drop to the ground, where they are often attacked by cats or hit by cars unless they are rescued by volunteers.”  The government threatened big fines if the bird deaths continued.  The school district is going to put in specially shielded lights, but until they do (a year or two) the kids have to play football on Saturdays instead of Fridays.  Doesn’t sound all that bad, right?

Sadly, but all too predictably, lots of people don’t like the new policy. “They have been showing up to games wearing T-shirts that disparage the policy, and occasionally voicing their displeasure from the stands.”

Here’s a quote that really gets me: “They chose the bird over our keiki,” [parent Rich Rapozo] said after a Saturday game, using the Hawaiian word for children.  Hey, listen Rich: nobody chose to kill your children instead of killing birds, OK?

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