Government Shutdown Endangers Peregrine Surveys


The October 1 partial shutdown of the U.S Government closed all National Parks, Seashores and Refuges. At Assateague Island National Seashore (MD) Earthspan researchers were forbidden to enter the study area just three days after beginning our 44th annual survey. We are in place and poised to resume the survey if Congress so allows, but the migration waits for no one and our window of opportunity is rapidly passing. At Padre Island (TX) Earthspan researchers can no longer access portions of the study area on Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, but the beachfront and State lands are still available to the Survey.

This shutdown has affected the livelihoods and security of some 800,000 blameless government employees, the recreational and professional opportunities of countless citizens, the businesses that support and sustain these activities, and the integrity of research critical to the well-being of our natural world. We implore the Legislative and Executive branches of our government to bring a quick end to this event.


Update, 10/29/13: At Assateague the shutdown’s end and restoration of access came too late for a resumption of survey operations, leaving an irretrievable hole in the 44-year standardized database. The Padre Island survey was able to continue operations on State and public portions of the study area until Federal land access was restored, minimizing effects of the shutdown on our 37 years of data.