The Double-crested Cormorant suffered population declines in the 19th and early 20th centuries due to hunting and persecution. The birds recovered after the 1920s, but by 1960 had virtually disappeared from around the Great Lakes largely due to chemical pesticide pollution in the environment. By 1972, the National Audubon Society considered the Double-crested Cormorant a species of special concern. Conservationists have erected nesting platforms to help the birds achieve improved nesting success.
However, the 1972 ban of the pesticide DDT and a generation of cleanup efforts around the Great Lakes have led to a remarkable rebound of this resilient bird. Their increased populations have led to human conflicts. Cormorants have been blamed for playing a role in the collapse of some fisheries, although data to support these claims are sparse. The birds will eat fish at fish farms, and in recent years permits to control Cormorant numbers have been issued to fish farmers. next page >>