June 8, 2005

Ohio’s Osprey Population Growing

CHARDON, Ohio -- Environmental experts say the state's osprey population is self-sustaining less than a decade after the Division of Wildlife reintroduced the raptor to Ohio.

Officials say approximately 36 nesting pairs of osprey are expecting offspring soon. The state reintroduced the bird in 1996 after it was absent for much of the 1900s in the state.

"We're watching the rebirth of a species," says Dan Kramer, a wildlife management supervisor in Ohio's northeast district.

Chemical pesticides and the destruction of its habitat led to the bird's decline in the area. Osprey eat mostly fish and tend to live near water.

It is still on the state's endangered species list.

"When we put our mind to something, we can rescue something we hold dear," says Harvey Webster, director of wildlife resources with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. "We can help right the wrongs with these animal species."

The construction of a nesting platform in 2003 is finally paying off for officials in the Geauga Park District. Two osprey moved in earlier this year and mated.

Officials believe the eggs could hatch this month.

"It's been amazing to watch," says Tami Gingrich, a Geauga Park District field naturalist.


On the Net:

Ohio Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com