Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Decent Essays

The wildlife refuge complex in the Klamath River Basin is part of a migratory bird wetland habitat system that spans the western seaboard. Wilson (2010) refers to the Pacific Coast wetland habitats as being“ like links in a chain ” that lead birds from wintering grounds to summer breeding habitats, which are only effective if each one remains intact(p. 7). It is estimated that three quarters of the birds traveling through this chain make a stop in the Klamath Basin, and roughly half of those can be found at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northern California (Foster 2008 ;Wilson 2010 ). Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge and it's neighbor Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) also serve as sources of farmland for local farmers, who are able to lease lands under the Kuchel Act of 1964 (Kuchel Act 1964). If there is water left over from irrigating farmland, it is allocated to remain on the refuges to provide wetland habitat for birds. Water scarcity has posed a serious threat to birds that use the refuges. In 2012, avian cholera killed more than 10,00 birds in the Klamath refuges, a result of overcrowding in scarce pools of water. In 2014 an average of 100 infected bird carcasses were discovered a day during the summer months(Jarrell 2014). …show more content…

This past year was more promising, as water was able to be released in fall to Lower Klamath Refuge to aid in fall migration, despite predictions that water allocations would not allow for permanent wetlands in the refuges (Jarrell April 20,

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