The protection of Connecticut’s rich and remarkably diverse range of species, as well as migratory and international wildlife, is now more important than ever. With your vital support, we can create a humane and livable planet for all species. Click HERE to take action now on these important 2023 wildlife legislative priorities.
2023 Wildlife Legislative Updates
Connecticut’s black bears are a crucial part of our state’s biodiversity and need our protection now more than ever. Sierra Club CT opposes efforts to enact a bear hunt and instead advocates for a proactive, comprehensive education initiative, teaching people and communities to become “bear smart” by learning and putting into effect proven, non-lethal methods of deterrence.
For tips on peacefully coexisting with black bears, please click HERE.
Help Migratory Birds Stay Safe
HB 6607 An Act Concerning the Nighttime Lighting of State-Owned Buildings at Certain Times for the Protection of Birds. During their critical spring and fall migrations, most birds typically pass over Connecticut during the night when temperatures have cooled. Excessively lit buildings and reflective structures attract and disorient them, leading to collisions. The deadly result of this is almost one billion birds killed in the U.S. every year. Our state is on the Atlantic Flyway, so it is even more critical to enact measures to turn off or dim non-essential lights during the peak migration periods.
Seabird and Shorebird Protection
HB 6813 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SEABIRD AND
SHOREBIRD PROTECTION PROGRAM will grant authority for the designation and marking of seabird and shorebird protection areas along the state's coast. Seabirds such as The Great Egret, Piping Plover, Least Tern, and American Oystercatcher are in decline and need our help! The survival of these birds is not only threatened by habitat loss and improper disposal of fishing lines, but also by trash left on the beach which attracts predators, and humans and dogs unknowingly getting too close to nests. Though there are already measures in place to help protect the habitats which are critical feeding and nesting grounds for these birds, there is little public awareness or enforcement. More needs to be done to ensure that these species have safe spaces to thrive before their numbers plummet even further. Similar conservation efforts have proven to be successful in slowing the decline in their populations. Passage of this bill would provide guidelines for protection of these birds. Photo by Tim Wilson on Unsplash
Protect Horseshoe Crabs
HB 6484 AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN HARVESTING OF HORSESHOE CRABS: will prohibit the hand-harvesting of horseshoe crabs. Horseshoe crabs and their eggs are critically important to migrating shorebirds. In the months of May and June, female horseshoe crabs come ashore and lay as many as 100,000 eggs, helping sustain birds migrating north to their nesting grounds. Horseshoe crabs are collected for use by fisherman as bait for eels and whelk, sometimes without restraint, though there are many other alternative species whose populations are more stable; -some are even invasive! . Horseshoe crabs are also collected by the medical industry for their blood. After their blood is collected, the crabs are released back into the sea, but as many as 30% may die as a result of the procedure. Horseshoe crab numbers in New York and New England
have been decreasing as a result of these population pressures. Passage of this bill should allow horseshoe crab numbers to recover, and those of migrating shorebirds as well.
Prohibit the Use of Neonicotinoids
SB 963 AN ACT CONCERNING NEONICOTINOIDS FOR NONAGRICULTURAL USE will prohibit the nonagricultural use of neonicotinoids. These air borne toxins produce an accumulation of acetylcholine that results in convulsions, hyper sensitivity, paralysis and death in insects: bees, butterflies and other important pollinators.There is enough toxic substance in the active ingredients found atop one coated corn seed to kill more than 250,000 bees if exposed to these harmful chemicals. Neonics remain in the environment for years spreading easily through the air and seeping into our natural resources such as our soil and waterways. According to the Center For Disease Control about 50% of the U.S. population over 3 years of age have been exposed to neonics. These poisons have been linked to potential neurological, developmental and reproductive harms, including malformations of the developing heart and brain in humans. Passage of this bill would restrict the use of these insecticides and help stop the decline of keystone insect populations.
Prohibit the Use of Certain Rodenticides
SB 962 AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CERTAIN RODENTICIDES will prohibit the use of second-generation rodenticides in order to preserve hawk and other raptor populations in the state. Despite their misleading name, rodenticides are non-specific compounds that contain toxins in levels lethal to a broad range of species, including humans. They are most commonly used in the form of bait blocks set out to poison rodents. Because the toxins are slow acting, the target rodents will live for days after ingestion and are far too often eaten by predators before succumbing to the poison itself. The predators, including hawks, owls, and eagles, then become secondary unintended victims as they digest their contaminated prey. Occasionally children have been known to ingest these brightly colored bait blocks as well. While treatment can be successful for humans and domestic animals, mortality rates in wildlife are nearly 100%
after consumption, even when brought in for veterinary care quickly. Passage of this bill would regulate the use of these rodenticides and reduce the chance of poisoning non-target animals.
Other Wildlife Campaigns
Raising awareness of the dangers to local grassland bird populations, including the Bobolink, due to the mowing hayfields.
Sierra Club Connecticut’s Wildlife Committee is focused on the protection of Connecticut’s rich and remarkably diverse range of species, as well as migratory and international wildlife. To find out more, engage us.