March 10, 2003
Gerry Barnhart, Director
Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
NY State Dep’t of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4750
Dear Mr. Barnhart:
I am writing on behalf of our organization to inquire as to the
Department of Environmental Conservation’s assessment of
current American Crow populations in New York State and whether
any changes to crow hunting seasons or bag limits are under consideration.
As you are aware, populations of a number of avian species have
been negatively impacted by the spread of West Nile virus in New
York and other states. American Crows are particularly susceptible
to WNV, with many specimens confirmed as infected with the disease
by government agencies. Although crow populations have been considered
steady or increasing, there is a very real possibility that WNV
could dramatically reverse that trend.
We hope that the Department is taking a thorough look at the status
of crows in the state and the effects of WNV on this species. It
is important that, even though crows are considered abundant in
the state, these birds be monitored closely to allow changes in
management of the species if they are in decline.
Please contact me with any information you may have on this issue.