Officials at the University Park Airport in Centre County should be rushing to devise plans for altering wildlife habitat to reduce the threat of birds to airplanes. The decision by officials to instead poison 15,000 or more wild birds ("Centre County Airport to Kill 15,000 Birds" Jan. 15 Web) is simply wrongheaded and almost certain to fail over the long run.
Killing birds now wastes money that should be spent making surrounding areas unattractive to birds. Such modifications, coupled with sustained and coordinated harassment to discourage the birds from remaining near the airport, would provide a permanent solution to air traffic safety. On the other hand, killing so many animals without altering habitat merely invites repopulation - and thereby squanders resources and sacrifices wildlife without improving safety for air travelers.
Join me in urging the airport authority to take wise action in this case. It's the right thing for travelers, and the right thing for wildlife.
Pennsylvania State Director
The Humane Society of the United States