Connecticut Audbon Society

These key issues in 2024 will protect Connecticut’s birds and other wildlife. They need your involvement.

Connecticut’s elected officials pay attention when their constituents speak out on environmental issues.

The 2024 session at the Capitol in Hartford is an important opportunity for Connecticut Audubon members and supporters to get involved by being part of a team of conservation advocates. The session starts Wednesday, February 7.

Between now and the end of the session in May, we’re hoping to work with you to contact your elected representatives and others on behalf of Connecticut’s birds and other wildlife.

The issues that we think are most important, and where together you and we can have the most impact, are:

  • Pesticides. We are supporting a bill to strictly limit the dangerous class of pesticides called neonics.
  • Rodenticides. We are supporting a bill to ban rodenticides that kill and injure dozens of raptors a year in Connecticut
  • Light Pollution. We are working to update regulations to make outdoor lighting less of a hazard to migrating birds.
  • Climate. Legislators are working on an omnibus bill that we hope will include many aggressive and necessary actions to help prepare the state for the effects of climate change, and ease the impacts on birds and other wildlife.

We want you to be part of a corps of conservation advocates, to speak out through emails and phone calls, at strategic times over the next several months.


(You might have joined already. If the link takes you to a page that says “Welcome Back!” you’ve already signed up. Just click the red Submit button. Thank you!)

The General Assembly’s 2024 session starts Wednesday, February 7. There’s more information about our conservation priorities below. It’s a working document—we’ll add bill numbers and details when we get them. WE [We] will also be watching for other issues that need the attention of the state’s conservation community.

Pesticides such a neonics are implicated in the population declines of many butterflies.

Pesticides
Bill number: None yet
Connecticut Audubon is part of the Connecticut Coalition for Pesticide Reform, which is working to ban a dangerous class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short.

Neonics are used to control insects and other invertebrates on lawns and farm crops.

They can kill bees, butterflies, moths and other important pollinators in the adult and caterpillar stages — creatures that birds rely on for food. Legislation passed in 2016 prevented individual residents from buying neonics, but these poisons are still used extensively by lawn care companies and on golf courses.

In farming, agribusiness companies sell corn and soybean seeds coated with neonics. Studies have shown that one neonic-coated seed can kill a bird.

In 2023, New York State enacted a ban on up to 90 percent of all uses of neonics. Connecticut Audubon and the coalition are working toward the same goal in 2024.

Last year, a bill that would have banned neonicotinoids for non-agricultural in Connecticut use passed unanimously in the state Senate but was not voted on in the House.

Connecticut Audubon is working with the Connecticut Coalition for Pesticide Reform to organize a conference for advocates, residents, and government officials interested in reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the state. The conference will feature leading experts from the U.S. and Canada. It is scheduled for Monday, March 11, at Trinity College, Hartford.

Click HERE to register for "Neonics: The New DDT"

 

Dozens of hawks and owls are killed or sickened in Connecticut each year when they eat rodents poisoned by second-generation rodenticides. Photo by Tomas Koeck.

Rodenticides
Bill number: None yet
Connecticut Audubon is supporting a proposal to ban so-called second generation anticoagulant rodenticides. These poisons target rats and mice but are especially insidious when it comes to birds. 

They are called “second generation” rodenticides because they were developed after rodents built up resistance to earlier rodenticides. The second generation rodenticides don’t kill rats and mice immediately. The animals survive for a while and become easy prey for hawks, owls, eagles and other birds, which themselves become poisoned.

A recent study by the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts showed that nearly 100 percent of Red-tailed Hawks that were brought in had rodenticides in their systems, some at lethal levels. Wildlife rehabilitators in Connecticut have similarly reported high numbers of poisoned hawks and owls.

In 2023, a bill that would have banned second generation anticoagulant rodenticides passed unanimously in the state Senate but was not voted on in the House.

Lights Out
Connecticut Audubon is working with Lights Out Connecticut to support changes to the state building code that would require the use of dimmer outdoor lights in new construction and major construction upgrades.

Birds migrate at night, which makes them vulnerable to building lights. It’s a big problem. The lights lure them straight into windows and buildings, where they often die from the impact. A billion birds a year are killed in North America when they crash into buildings.

Connecticut Audubon has been working with the Lights Out Coalition to alert residents to when there will be big migration nights in spring and fall, so they can turn out their outdoor lights.

You can sign up to receive these notices via text. https://p2a.co/gvu8lhw 

Last year, advocates succeeded in persuading the legislator and the governor to require that exterior lights be turned out on all state-owned buildings between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Connecticut Audubon featured the problem in an article in its 2023 Connecticut State of the Birds report. This was one of the report’s recommendations:

“Approximately a billion birds die every year in North America when they fly into buildings. Bird-friendly building design can reduce that number significantly. More than 20 U.S. cities and municipalities have enacted bird-friendly building policies. We strongly recommend that the state of Connecticut begin work on bird-friendly building policies, codes, and incentives. New York City’s bird-friendly building law, Local Law 15 of 2020, provides an excellent model of a rigorous, science-based building policy.”

The changes to the building code would be another step in that direction.

Omnibus Climate Bill
Bill number: None yet
This bill is expected to address energy and transportation, climate change mitigation, land preservation and an array of other issues pertaining to climate change in the state. It has drawn the attention of numerous elected officials and environmental advocates, but details are not yet available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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