green tree But to the untrained eye it suddenly turns silvery. This scenario is becoming commonplace on Toronto Island.
But actually it is not silver. It’s bird droppings and it’s caused by cormorants. The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) lists the cormorant as an endemic bird that has reached near extinction.
TRCA’s Andrea Creston said cormorant droppings are special and tend to accumulate around them. These eventually cause death to the plant. Although these wastes do not cause direct harm to public health, their smell is very strong. Cormorants feed mainly on fish.
Creston said cormorant droppings are becoming a problem in Toronto’s hot and humid climate. It’s starting to get hotter and we’re getting this special smell from the cormorant colony.
TRCA says Toronto Island is biodiversity sensitive and flocks of cormorants are migrating to the island from their sanctuary at Tommy Thompson Park. The main task now is to try to safely remove the birds without any harmful action. Sound or visual disturbance can be a good option in this case.
Creston said they should make nesting on Toronto Island unattractive.
Professor Gail Fraser teaches waterbird ecology at York University. He said that the system works without harm. It takes some time. From what I understand this will slowly thin their team on Toronto Island. Housing density will also decrease. It will be good for the tree.