19 Feb 2009

Calls in CNMI for birds to be relocated

12:43 pm on 19 February 2009

A lawmaker in the Northern Marianas is calling for a plan to relocate wild birds on Tinian Island in case the US pushes through with its plans to use the military reservation area.

Edwin Aldan is advocating moving the birds to nearby uninhabited Aguiguan Island, which is also known as Goat Island.

The 2.7 square mile island just southwest of Tinian, is surrounded by steep cliffs and is very difficult to approach by sea.

It is the site of the last of the ancient Chamorro resistance to Spanish colonial rule in 1695.

The Saipan Tribune reports that remains of Japanese farms from the 1930s and war shelters from World War II can still be found, littered with shells and bombs.

Edwin Aldan says among the birds that are in danger of being dislocated is the Tinian monarch or Chuchurican Tinian, a forest bird endemic to the island.

It was listed as endangered in 1970 because its population was reported to be critically low due to the destruction of native forests by pre-WWII agricultural practices, and by military activities during WW II.