Thousands of National Guardsmen and fire service personnel, and an estimated millions of dollars are involved in a campaign to save less than a hundred tiny birds in Michigan, in the U.
CU Map of Warbler area
GV PAN National Guard with tank training in Warbler's nesting grounds
CU & SV Bird on branch (2 shots)
CU Man speaks SOUND IN: "Well the total SOUND OUT: aren't too many."
GV Burning off in forest
SV & CU Birds in cages
CU Bird feeding young
GV Shots of tanks training
CU Bird near nest
TRANSCRIPTS: COHEN: "This little creatures may not turn you on, but naturalists are going to great lengths to keep it in existence. Its the Curdling (Ed.'s note - phonetic spelling) Warbler, native of the Jack Pine Woods of Michigan's northern lower peninsula, National Guard units from Ohio, Indians and Michigan conduct manoeuvres here each summer, but after scientists found forty-four mating pairs of the tiny birds in the heart of the range, guard commanders changed sites to accommodate the birds. Experts say there are only three-hundred and thirty-four Warblers still in existence, and the biologist in charge of the rescue effort says the species soon could be extinct."
SEQ. 5: MAN: "Well the total weight of the birds--blood, guts and feathers--is about twenty pounds--a pack sack will probably put all the birds in the world, to hold all the Curdling Warblers in the world. There aren't too many."
COHEN: Curdling Warblers nest in Jack pines not more than twenty years old. so the U.S. Forest Service purposely sets fire to potential nesting areas. The intense heat pops open the Jack pine cones to start new growth. Another activity is the elimination of Cow birds. They lay their eggs in Warblers nests and the infants crowd out and starve the Warblers' tiny chicks. The Michigan Autobahn Society has adopted the Warbler as its State symbol. The State legislature is considering the same action, as state and federal agencies pour in thousands of dollars to try to save the birds. But local businessmen say they'll lose millions of dollars in future summers if the National Guard stops training here. They feel their economy is worth more than twenty pounds of birds. This is Dave Cohen."
This film, showing the efforts being made to save the birds.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thousands of National Guardsmen and fire service personnel, and an estimated millions of dollars are involved in a campaign to save less than a hundred tiny birds in Michigan, in the U.S.A.
The bird is the Curdling Warbler (eds note: Curdling' is a phonetic spelling), native to the Jack Pine Woods area of Michigan. Recently, forty-four pairs of mating birds were discovered in the woods where thousands of National Guardsmen from three states train every year -- and spend millions of dollars, according to local businessmen. Naturalists interested in preserving the birds persuaded the National Guardsmen to move out -- to an outcry from the businessmen who say they will lose the millions of dollars from the soldiers and their units.
And because the tiny birds -- an estimated three hundred and thirty four remain in the world -- nest only in young Jack pines, under twenty years old, the state fire services have been called in. They set controlled fires in the forests, the heat from which causes Jack pine cones to pop open and seed -- spreading a new growth of young pine trees for the birds.