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Lethal control of the birds to protect wild fish was authorized by the U.S. government for many years ‒ though not through raccoon militias. The view that double-crested cormorants are an invader that threaten the natural integrity of the ecosystem is a common sentiment in upper Michigan. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and MUCC is weighing in. To facilitate adaptive, localized management the USFWS submitted a proposed rule to the… The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked. Double-crested cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus This dark, long-bodied diving bird floats low in the water with its thin neck and bill raised; perches upright near water with wings half-spread to dry. In the Great Lakes region alone, cormorants rebounded from around 200 nesting pairs in the early 1970s to 115,000 by 2000 (Taylor and Dorr 2003). Researchers found the cormorants are chowing down on invasive species – mainly alewife, round goby and white perch – which together accounted for 80-90% of their diet. (Great Lakes Echo): Cormorants’ fish-stealing rep may be a bum rap – and the truth is more complex, as the first dietary study of cormorants in southern Lake Michigan shows. The Double-crested (which rarely looks noticeably crested in the field) is the most generally distributed cormorant in North America, and the only one likely to be seen inland in most areas. Because Michigan hosts about 55% of the population’s cormorants breeding pairs, the state can be considered “ground zero” for the negative effects of cormorants. MNA protects more than 10,000 acres of land in over 170 nature sanctuaries throughout the state of Michigan, from the tip of Keweenaw in the Upper Peninsula to the Indiana/Ohio border. The Michigan Nature Association is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to preserving Michigan’s natural heritage since 1952. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the order Suliformes. Can cormorants help control Great Lakes invaders? The most abundant and widespread is the Double-crested Cormorant, which can be found throughout the continent in freshwater and in seawater along the coasts into Northern Quebec and up into the far reaches of Alaska. Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of colored skin on the face. Cormorants are a native species, but wreak havoc on fisheries populations across the Great Lakes region. Two species have been recorded in Michigan. For cormorants, however, and some other native wildlife species whose populations rebounded due … There are six types of cormorants native to North America. 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