Establishment of a new aviary at the National Wildlife Research Center, Florida Field Station, Gainesville, Florida


Wagner, K.K.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services

2004


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (WS), National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC), Florida Field Station (FFS) proposes to allow the University of Florida (UF) to build an aviary on FFS property located at 2820 East University Avenue in Gainesville, Florida. The new aviary would initially be used for a 5 year study conducted by the University of Florida to assess the impact of mercury contamination on the life history of white ibis (Eudocimus albus). At the conclusion of the 5 year study, the aviary, without the ibis, would become the property of the FFS. The FFS would use the aviary in its research which focuses on finding alternative means of reducing conflicts between humans and birds including damage to crops.

ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENT
ESTABLISHMENT
OF
A
NEW
AVIARY
at
the
National
Wildlife
Research
Center
Florida
Field
Station
Gainesville,
Florida
U.
S
.
Department
of
Agriculture
Animal
and
Plant
Health
Inspection
Service
Wildlife
Services
January
15,
2004
I.
Proposed
Action
The
United
States
Department
of
Agriculture
(USDA),
Animal
and
Plant
Health
Inspection
Service,
Wildlife
Services
(WS),
National
Wildlife
Research
Center
(NWRC),
Florida
Field
Station
(FFS)
proposes
to
allow
the
University
of
Florida
(UF)
to
build
an
aviary
on
FFS
property
located
at
2820
East
University
Avenue
in
Gainesville,
Florida.
The
new
aviary
would
initially
be
used
for
a
5
year
study
conducted
by
the
University
of
Florida
to
assess
the
impact
of
mercury
contamination
on
the
life
history
of
white
ibis
(Eudocimus
albus).
At
the
conclusion
of
the
5
year
study,
the
aviary,
without
the
ibis,
would
become
the
property
of
the
FFS.
The
FFS
would
use
the
aviary
in
its
research
which
focuses
on
finding
alternative
means
of
reducing
conflicts
between
humans
and
birds
including
damage
to
crops.
II.
Need
for
the
Proposed
Action
2.1
Impact
of
Mercury
on
Bird
Species
in
the
Everglades
Mercury
is
well
known
for
its
toxic
effects
in
most,
if
not
all,
organisms.
While
the
effects
of
mercury
have
been
intensively
studied
in
humans
(Clarkson
1993),
the
effects
of
varying
levels
of
mercury
on
wildlife
are
relatively
unknown
(Wolfe
et
al.
1996,
Thompson
1996).
One
form
of
mercury,
methylated
mercury
(MeHg),
is
considerably
more
toxic
and
likely
to
accumulate
in
the
food
chain
than
inorganic
mercury
(Clarkson
1993).
The
potential
for
conversion
of
mercury
from
inorganic
to
methylated
forms
is
know
to
be
accomplished
by
sulfur
reducing
bacteria
typical
in
wetland
or
aquatic
environments
(Compeau
and
Bartha
1985,
Gilmour
et
al
.
1992).
Fish-eating
and
aquatic
birds
are
likely
to
be
especially
vulnerable
to
MeHg
contamination
in
the
environment,
primarily
because
these
animals
are
typically
at
the
end
of
long
aquatic
food
webs
with
very
high
potentials
to
accumulate
MeHg
(Frederick
2003).
The
effect
of
MeHg
varies
depending
on
the
dose.
Wide
variation
in
response
to
MeHg
has
been
observed
among
animal
species
making
it
difficult
to
make
predictions
about
levels
of
mercury
exposure
that
can
be
tolerated
without
adverse
effects
(Wolfe
et
al
1996,
Thompson
1996).
Limits
that
work
for
humans
may
not
be
suitable
for
wildlife
because
human
exposure
to
contaminated
foods
or
sediment
is
often
much
more
limited
than
it
is
for
wildlife,
and
because
some
species
of
wildlife
may
be
much
more
vulnerable
to
MeHg
than
humans
(Meyer
1998).
In
birds,
MeHg
is
known
to
affect
the
central
nervous
system
in
adults
and
young.
Acute
MeHg
poisoning
is
associated
with
reduced
food
intake
leading
to
weight
loss,
increasing
weakness,
poor
coordination,
inability
to
fly
or
walk,
and,
in
severe
cases,
liver
and
kidney
disease
and
brain
lesions.
MeHg
can
also
be
highly
toxic
to
bird
embryos
(Fimreite
1971,
Stoewsand
et
al.
1974,
Heinz
1996).
For
some
species
of
birds,
very
low
concentration
levels
of
MeHg
can
result
in
eggshell
thinning
or
death
of
the
embryo
(Heinz
1996,
Scheuhammer
1987,
Wolfe
et
al.
1996).
In
other
species
of
birds,
MeHg
appears
to
have
little
impact
on
success
of
eggs
(Venueeer
et
al.
1973,
Fyfe
et
al.
1976,
Koivusaari
et
al.
1980,
Helander
et
al
1982).
There
is
also
evidence
indicating
that
mercury
affects
parenting
ability
in
adults
and
survival
of
young
and
adult
birds
(Frederick
2003).
As
stated
above,
fish-eating
birds
are
likely
to
have
the
greatest
intake
of
and
exposure
to
MeHg
because
of
the
tendency
of
this
chemical
to
accumulate
in
the
food
chain.
Birds
may
also
be
especially
vulnerable
to
MeHg
in
their
diet
because,
in
general,
birds
have
high
metabolic
rates
and
consume
large
quantities
of
food
relative
to
their
body
weight.
Biologists
at
the
University
of
Florida
have
received
a
grant
to
study
the
impact
of
MeHg
on
white
ibis
under
controlled
conditions.
The
grant
funds
a
5
year
study
into
the
impact
of
varying
levels
of
MeHg
similar
to
that
found
in
the
everglades
on
the
behavior,
reproductive
success,
and
general
health
of
the
ibis.
Details
of
the
research
proposal
are
in
Frederick
2003).
In
order
to
conduct
the
study,
the
University
of
Florida
needs
to
build
a
new
aviary
to
safely
house
the
ibis.
They
have
requested
permission
to
build
the
facility
on
the
grounds
of
the
FFS.
OF
will
fund
construction
of
the
aviary
and
will
be
responsible
for
obtaining
all
relevant
state
and
local
permits
prior
to
construction.
2.2
NWRC
Florida
Field
Station
(FFS)
Primary
emphasis
of
research
at
the
FFS
is
on
identifying,
evaluating,
and
developing
nonlethal
methods
to
manage
bird
depredations
to
crops.
This
is
accomplished
through
behavioral
and
physiological
studies
with
captive
wild
birds
at
the
FFS
and
through
field
trials
in
Florida,
Louisiana, California,
and
elsewhere.
Studies
are
conducted
with
the
cooperation
and
support
of
WS
Operations,
growers'
organizations,
private
companies,
and
state
and
federal
agencies.
The
FFS
was
built
in
1963
and
has
continually
served
as
a
bird
and
mann
-
nal
research
station
since
that
date.
In
June
1993,
the
Florida
WS
State
Director's
Office
moved
from
Tallahassee
to
offices
at
the
FFS.
The
26-acre
site
is
located
3
miles
east
of
the
University
of
Florida.
There
is
a
main
building
holding
offices
and
laboratories,
and
3
roofed
outdoor
aviaries
for
maintaining
and
testing
wild
birds.
There
are
also
eight
10
x
30
foot
enclosures
and
two
'A
acre
flight
pens
where
trials
can
be
conducted
throughout
the
year
under
natural
environmental
conditions
(Fig.
1).
The
proposed
UF
research
would
require
facilities
large
enough
to
comfortably
house
a
breeding
colony
of
white
ibis.
The
only
pens
of
this
size
at
the
FFS
are
the
two
flight
pens.
However,
the
flight
pens
have
a
grass
substrate
which
would
permit
mercury
in
the
ibis
waste
to
contaminate
the
soil
on
the
site.
Additionally,
permitting
UF
to
use
one
or
both
of
the
flight
pens
for
the
5
years
of
their
study
would
seriously
impair
the
ability
of
the
FFS
to
meet
its
objectives
in
identifying,
evaluating,
and
developing
methods
to
manage
bird
depredations.
Therefore,
the
FFS
is
considering
allowing
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
on
FFS
facilities.
Construction
of
the
new
aviary
would
benefit
the
FFS
because,
when
the
aviary
is
turned
over
to
the
FFS,
it
will
increase
and
improve
the
ability
of
the
station
to
conduct
research.
Additionally,
the
5
year
study
is
likely
to
increase
communication
and
collaboration
between
the
FFS
and
UF
and
will
improve
research
and
educational
opportunities
for
both
organizations.
III.
Alternatives
The
following
actions
were
considered
as
possible
alternatives:
Alternative
1:
Permit
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
at
the
FFS
(Proposed
Action).
Alternative
2.
Do
not
permit
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
(No
Action).
3.1
Alternative
1.
Permit
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
at
the
NWRC
Gainesville
Field
Station.
NWRC
administrators
determined
that
the
preferred
alternative
is
to
allow
for
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
on
the
FFS
grounds.
The
aviary
would
be
situated
in
a
section
of
the
facility
that
has
few
living
trees
because
of
an
accidental
fire
in
2001,
a
tornado
in
2002
and
a
beetle
infestation
that
occurred
between
the
fire
and
the
tornado.
Most
of
the
trees
are
down
with
a
few
remaining
snags
(Fig
1).
Therefore,
few
living
trees
would
need
to
be
cut
to
construct
the
proposed
facility.
The
proposed
circular
aviary
would
cover
approximately
28,850
sq.
ft.
(approximately
195
ft.
diameter;
Figures
2
and
3)
and
would
be
divided
into
4
separate
sections
for
holding
birds.
Each
section
would
contain
a
shallow
wading
pool
capable
of
holding
6-8
in.
of
water.
Each
section
would
also
contain
a
series
of
wooden
poles
designed
to
support
perching
and
nesting.
The
aviary
would
have
a
packed
sand/gravel
base
covered
by
an
impermeable
butyl
rubber
mat
(like
that
used
for
lining
ponds)
and
2
layers
of
polypropylene
landscape
cloth
(to
protect
the
mat
from
foot
traffic
and
photodegradation.
Selection
of
this
type
of
flooring
instead
of
concrete
would
allow
the
FFS
to
readily
remove
the
barrier
and
use
alternate
(e.g.
grass)
flooring
for
future
research
that
would
not
have
the
same
waste
disposal
concerns
as
the
MeHg
study.
A
series
of
poles
will
support
netting
which
will
form
the
walls
and
roof
of
the
aviary.
The
center
pole
would
be
38
feet
tall
and
the
perimeter
poles
would
be
14
ft.
tall.
Coated
poultry
wire
will
surround
the
perimeter
of
the
aviary
to
discourage
entry
by
predators
and
rodents.
The
overall
appearance
of
the
aviary
will
be
similar
to
that
of
a
circus
tent
with
netting
instead
of
canvas.
The
actual
diameter
of
the
impact
area
for
the
aviary
will
be
slightly
larger
than
28,850
sq.
ft.
because
of
the
entry
areas
to
each
of
the
4
quarters
of
the
pen
and
the
guy
wires
which
anchor
the
poles
supporting
the
net
that
covers
the
facility.
In
total,
approximately
three
quarters
of
an
acre
will
be
cleared
for
construction
of
the
new
facility.
Drains
located
in
each
of
the
ponds
and
at
the
center
of
the
aviary
will
be
connected
to
the
municipal
sewer
system.
Utility
and
sewer
lines
will
be
run
from
the
area
north
of
the
main
office
facility
to
the
new
pen
along
the
route
of
an
existing
fire
lane
(Fig.
1).
This
fire
lane
will
be
further
developed
into
a
lirnerock
access
road
to
the
site.
At
the
conclusion
of
the
5
year
OF
study,
the
facility,
without
the
ibis,
would
be
donated
to
the
FFS
for
use
in
its
research
on
methods
to
reduce
human
conflicts
with
birds
including
crop
damage,
damage
to
property,
damage
to
natural
resources
(e.g.
predation
on
T&E
species).
and
risks
to
human
health
and
safety
(e.g.
disease
transmission,
aircraft
hazards).
3.2
Alternative
2.
.
Do
not
peimit
the
construction
of
a
new
aviary
(No
Action).
Under
this
alternative,
OF
would
have
to
seek
a
new
site
for
its
bird
research
facility.
The
FFS
would
receive
no
long-term
increase
in
its
capacity
to
conduct
research
on
methods
to
reduce
human
conflicts
with
birds.
IV.
Environmental
Impacts.
The
following
issues
were
identified
as
being
relevant
to
the
proposed
action.
A
summary
of
the
impacts associated
with
the
Proposed
Action
is
available
in
Table
1
1.
Impact
on
the
Physical
Environment
2.
Impact
on
the
Biological
Environment
3.
Impact
on
the
Economic
Environment
4.
Impact
on
the
Sociocultural
Environment
4.1
Impact
on
the
Physical
Environment
4.1.1
Topography
The
26
acre
FFS
site
slopes
gradually
from
the
Northwest
to
the
Southeast.
Construction
of
the
aviary
would
cause
minor
impacts
to
the
topography
(leveling
and
grading),
but
natural
drainage
patterns
would
not
be
affected.
Thus
the
Proposed
Action
would
have
minor
effects
on
topography.
The
effects
would
be
permanent.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
no
impact
on
topography.
4.1.2
Geology/Soils
Construction
of
the
aviary
would
have
negligible
impact
on
the
site
soils
and
geology.
The
drainage
system
and
hookup
to
municipal
sewers
would
prohibit
contamination
of
the
soils
with
animal
waste
or
chemicals
used
in
research
studies.
Birds,
eggs,
and
feathers
that
might
potentially
contain
mercury
would
be
taken
off
site
for
further
analysis
by
OF
and
would
not
pose
a
risk
of
soil
contamination.
Additional
mitigation
measures
would
include
erosion
control
such
as
silt
fences
and
straw
bales
as
needed
and
reseeding
the
site
as
soon
as
possible
following
construction.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
no
impact
on
geology/soils.
4.1.3
Water
Quality
Neither
the
Proposed
Action
nor
the
No
Action
alternative
would
significantly
affect
water
quality.
This
deteimination
is
based
on
consideration
of
the
following
aspects
of
water
quality:
local
groundwater,
lakes,
streams,
floodplains,
wetlands,
and
surface
drainage.
There
are
no
water
bodies,
floodplains
or
wetlands
at
the
proposed
construction
site.
The
drainage
system
and
hookup
to
municipal
sewers
would
prohibit
contamination
of
surface
or
groundwater
with
animal
waste
or
chemicals
used
in
research
studies.
The
trace
amounts
of
mercury
that
would
be
passed
through
bird
waste
are
within
the
allowable
limits
that
can
be
handled
by
the
Gainesville
Regional
Utilities
(Pers.
comm.
Fred
Williams,
Gainesville
Regional
Utilities,
July
2003).
Birds,
eggs,
and
feathers
that
might
potentially
contain
mercury
would
be
taken
off
site
for
further
analysis
by
UF
and
would
not
pose
a
risk
of
environmental
contamination.
UF
is
responsible
for
the
safe
and
legal
disposal
of
all
birds,
eggs,
and
feathers.
Rainwater
falling
on
the
aviary
and
water
from
washing
the
facility
would
be
directed
to
the
drains
and
the
municipal
sewer
system
and
would
not
be
permitted
to
run
off
onto
the
site.
Because
of
the
relatively
small
size
of
the
site,
the
natural
drainages
and
water
bodies
would
not
be
affected
by
the
Proposed
Alternative.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
no
impact
on
Water
quality.
4.1.4
Air
Quality
The
Proposed
Action
would
not
significantly
impact
air
quality.
NWRC
facilities
are
maintained
in
strict
accordance
with
APHIS
animal
care
and
use
regulations
and
are
cleaned
daily.
Animal
refuse
would
not
accumulate
on
site,
so
animal
odors
would
be
negligible
and
would
not
impact
use
of
adjacent
properties.
Minor
temporary
adverse
impacts
to
air
quality
may
occur
during
construction.
Dust
would
be
controlled
as
necessary
by
sprinkling
or
other
routine
construction
procedures.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
no
impact
on
air
quality.
4.1.5
Noise
Construction
of
the
aviary
would
temporarily
generate
noise.
Due
to
the
relatively
small
scale
of
the
project,
this
noise
would
be
short-term
and
confined
to
normal
working
hours.
Therefore,
construction
noise
impacts
should
not
adversely
impact
the
residences
on
the
west
side
of
the
NWRC
complex.
White
ibis
do
not
produce
any
loud
noises,
therefore
the
study
conducted
by
the
UF
should
not
have
any
adversely
impact
neighboring
facilities.
It
is
possible
that
birds
housed
in
this
facility
for
subsequent
FFS
research
may
make
noise.
However,
by
this
time,
the
vegetation
to
the
West
of
the
aviary
should
have
recovered
and,
together
with
existing
vegetation,
would
serve
as
a
noise
buffer
for
the
housing
development
on
the
West
side
of
the
FFS
complex.
All
FFS
research
activities
would
be
conducted
in
compliance
with
all
relevant
Federal,
State
and
Local
laws.
Additional
NEPA
analysis
would
be
conducted
if
proposed
future
research
activities
are
anticipated
to
have
impacts
in
excess
of
those
described
in
this
analysis.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
no
impact
on
noise.
4.1.6
Transportation
During
construction,
there
would
be
minor
increases
in
the
traffic
on
University
Avenue
which
is
the
only
access
route
to
the
FFS.
esearch
activities
are
not
anticipated
to
result
in
an
increase
of
more
than
2-3
cars
per
day
to
the
site.
This
level
of
increase
should
not
have
a
noticeable
impact
on
traffic
on
University
Avenue.
Parking
facilities
at
the
NWRC
FFS
are
adequate
to
handle
the
additional
traffic.
4.1.7
Utilities
Construction
of
the
NWRC
facility
would
cause
no
net
effects
on
utilities
such
as
energy,
water,
sewer,
waste
disposal,
mail,
or
telephone
services.
Demand
for
such
services
is
not
anticipated
to
change
substantially
from
current
levels.
The
trace
amounts
of
mercury
that
would
be
passed
through
bird
waste
are
within
the
allowable
limits
that
can
be
handled
by
the
Gainesville
Regional
Utilities
(Pers.
comm.
Fred
Williams,
Gainesville
Regional
Utilities,
July
2003).
4.1.8
Land
Use
and
Zoning
Existing
land
use
would
be
affected
permanently
by
conversion
of
the
FFS
site
from
woodland
to
aviary.
However,
because
of
the
level
of
preexisting
site
disruption
attributable
to
fire,
tornado
and
insect
damage,
the
impact
at
the
FFS
site
is
less
than
is
likely
in
most
alternative
locations
that
OF
may
seek.
Because
the
site
is
already
owned
by
the
FFS,
it
has
been
removed
from
use
for
purposes
other
than
wildlife
research
for
the
last
40
years.
The
proposed
aviary
is
consistent
with
current
NWRC
use
of
the
site
and
with
local
zoning
laws.
The
site
is
currently
zoned
Public
Services
and
Operations.
The
Proposed
Action
would
not
have
an
impact
on
prime
farm
land.
4.1.9
Visual
Resources
Implementation
of
the
proposed
action
might
temporarily
change
the
existing
visual
environment
on
part
of
the
FFS
site.
However,
existing
vegetation
at
the
perimeter
of
the
FFS
would
block
most
of
the
view
of
the
aviary
with
the
possible
exception
of
the
central
peak.
As
the
forest
surrounding
the
aviary
recovers
from
recent
disruption,
the
view
of
the
aviary
would
be
further
blocked
from
neighboring
properties
and,
from
the
perspective
of
the
FFS
neighbors,
the
site
would
eventually
return
to
conditions
similar
to
those
prior
to
construction.
4.2
Biological
Environment
4.2.1
Plant
Cover
The
current
FFS
facilities
are
located
within
are
area
of
pine
flatwoods.
The
dominant
plant
species
in
the
pine
flatwood
is
loblolly
pine
(Pinus
taeda)
with
an
understory
dominated
by
saw
palmetto
(Serenoa
repens)
and
wiregrass
(Aristida
stricta).
The
majority
of
pine
trees
on
the
construction
site
are
dead,
killed
by
a
fire
in
2001,
a
tornado
that
passed
through
the
area
in
2002,
and/or
a
beetle
infestation
that
occurred
between
the
time
of
the
fire
and
the
tornado.
Most
of
the
trees
on
the
construction
site
are
down
with
only
a
few
remaining
snags.
Few
living
trees
would
be
cut
down
for
the
new
construction.
This
construction
location
was
specifically
selected
because
the
extent
of
preexisting
ecological
disruption
would
minimize
the
need
to
disturb
plant
and
animal
communities.
The
U.S.
Fish
and
Wildlife
Service
(FWS)
has
established
that
there
are
no
threatened,
endangered,
or
proposed
plant
species
in
Alachua
County
(USFWS
2003).
4.2.2
Wildlife
The
FFS
site
does
not
support
significant
wildlife
populations.
No
Threatened
or
Endangered
species
are
found
on
the
NWRC
facility
and
the
construction
site
is
not
suitable
habitat
for
the
T&E
species
listed
in
Alachua
County.
Therefore,
the
Proposed
and
No
Action
alternatives
would
have
no
effect
on
T&E
species.
Because
of
the
relatively
small
size
of
the
aviary
and
the
extent
of
disturbance
on
the
site,
the
Proposed
Action
would
have
a
low
impact
on
other
wildlife
species.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
have
No
Impact
on
other
species
using
the
site.
4.2.3
Human
populations
The
establishment
of
the
new
aviary
would
not
result
in
a
discernable
impact
on
the
human
population.
Employees
working
on
the
project
are
likely
to
be
UF
students
or
individuals
from
the
local
community
and
would
not
result
in
substantial
increases
in
the
local
population.
4.3
Economic
Envirorunent.
Construction
activities
would
provide
a
minor
short-term
economic
benefit
to
the
local
community.
All
construction
related
costs
would
be
paid
by
the
UF
and
not
by
the
FFS.
When
the
site
is
turned
over
to
the
FFS
at
the
conclusion
of
the
UF
study
the
capacity
and
quality
of
the
research
facilities
at
the
FFS
would
be
substantially
improved
with
very
little
to
no
cost
to
the
FFS.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
not
provide
this
benefit
to
the
FFS.
Research
at
the
new
facility
would
require
supplies
from
the
local
community,
but,
due
to
the
relatively
small
scale
of
the
project,
this
benefit
is
likely
to
be
very
small
and
virtually
imperceptible.
Likewise,
research
at
the
new
facility
would
create
jobs
for
only
1-3
people
and
would
also
have
a
negligible
impact
on
the
local
job
market,
economy,
and
tax
base.
4.4
Sociocultural
Environment
Research
with
animals
takes
place
in
a
complex
sociocultural
enviromnent.
Nearly
all
people
in
today's
modern
society
care
about
wild
animals
and
particularly
about
the
way
animals
are
used
or
treated
by
humans.
Public
attitudes
about
wild
animals
are
an
important
consideration
to
the
WS
program
including
WS
methods
development
which,
under
the
proposed
action,
would
be
facilitated
by
the
new
research
aviary.
The
sociocultural
environment
in
which
WS
operates
was
analyzed
in
the
WS
(formerly
ADC)
programmatic
EIS
(USDA
997
Revised).
In
this
EA,
therefore,
the
analysis
of
impacts
on
the
sociocultural
environment
focuses
upon
the
proposed
action.
4.4.1
Public
attitudes
The
basic
public
attitude
question
is
whether
the
construction
of
additional
research
facilities
at
the
FFS
is
desirable.
Differences
in
opinion
are
likely
to
exist
within
the
community.
UF
and
FFS
officials
and
researchers
are
likely
to
see
the
plan
as
beneficial.
Although
some
members
of
the
coinmunity
are
likely
to
support
the
need
for
research
into
the
impacts
of
MeHg
on
wildlife
and
the
NWRC
mission
to
find
alternative
means
for
resolving
human-wildlife
conflicts,
others
are
likely
to
oppose
or
question
any
captive
animal
research.
Some
UF
faculty
and
students
would
be
involved
in
the
MeHg
study
and
would
collaborate
on
future
FFS
research
projects
and
would
perceive
the
expansion
of
the
research
facilities
at
the
FFS
as
a
benefit.
However,
in
all
likelihood,
given
the
relatively
low
magnitude
of
impact
on
the
economic,
biological,
and
physical
environment,
the
vast
majority
of
local
residents
would
probably
have
no
opinion
about
the
new
aviary.
Most
APHIS/WS
clients
who
look
to
the
NWRC
to
develop
new
methods
for
resolving
human
conflicts
with
wildlife
would
perceive
the
expansion
of
the
FFS
research
capacity
as
beneficial
especially
given
that
the
costs
of
construction
would
be
paid
by
UF.
4.4.2
Historic
and
Archaeological
Resources
Neither
the
Proposed
Action
nor
No
Action
alternatives
would
impact
historic
landmarks,
cultural
landmarks
or
archaeological
sites
(Appendix
B).
No
such
sites
have
been
identified
on
or
near
the
location
proposed
for
the
new
aviary.
4.4.3
Impacts
on
Children
As
discussed
above,
the
trace
amount
of
mercury
waste
generated
by
the
proposed
action
would
be
safely
and
legally
be
disposed
of
and
handled
by
the
municipal
sewer
system.
All
feathers
and
bird
carcasses
would
be
taken
off
site
by
UF
for
further
analysis
and
would
not
contaminate
the
local
environment.
Visual
impacts
would
also
be
minimal.
All
future
NWRC
research
would
be
conducted
in
compliance
with
all
relevant
Federal,
state
and
Local
laws
for
the
protection
of
the
environment.
Additional
NEPA
analysis
would
be
conducted
if
proposed
future
research
activities
are
anticipated
to
have
impacts
in
excess
of
those
described
in
this
analysis
Therefore,
the
Proposed
and
No
Action
alternatives
would
not
pose
an
environmental
hazard
to
children.
4.4.4.
Environmental
Justice
There
is
a
low
income
housing
development
adjacent
to
the
West
side
of
the
FFS
grounds.
As
discussed
above,
the
trace
amount
of
mercury
waste
generated
by
the
proposed
action
would
be
safely
and
legally
be
disposed
of
and
handled
by
the
municipal
sewer
system.
All
feathers
and
bird
carcasses
would
be
taken
off
site
by
UF
for
further
analysis
and
would
not
contaminate
the
local
environment.
Visual
impacts
on
the
site
would
be
minimal.
All
future
NWRC
research
would
be
conducted
in
compliance
with
all
relevant
state
and
local
laws
for
the
protection
of
the
environment.
Additional
NEPA
analysis
would
be
conducted
if
proposed
future
research
activities
are
anticipated
to
have
impacts
in
excess
of
those
described
in
this
analysis.
Therefore,
the
Proposed
and
No
Action
alternatives
would
not
pose
a
risk
to
minority
or
low-income
populations.
4.4.5
Impacts
on
Community
Services
and
Recreational
Resources
The
Proposed
Action
would
result
in
additional
employment
for
only
1-3
individuals.
This
low
level
of
impact
is
unlikely
to
generate
any
perceptible
increase
in
demand
for
community
services
or
pressure
on
recreational
resources.
4.4.6
Educational
Impacts
The
UF's
MeHg
study
would
create
educational
opportunities
for
UF
students
and
faculty.
It
would
also
increase
collaboration
between
both
organizations
which
would
probably
result
in
increased
research
and
educational
opportunities
for
UF
and
FFS
staff
These
opportunities
would
be
severely
limited
under
the
No
Action
alternative.
None
Low
None
Low
None
None
Beneficial
Low
None
None
Permanent
Permanent
None
Temporary
Permanent
Mixed
Permanent
None
None
None
None
None
Beneficial
Pe
in
ianent
Table
1.
Summary
of
Impacts
The
following
table
summarizes
the
impacts
associated
with
the
Proposed
Action.
The
No
Action
alternative
would
not
affect
the
factors
listed
below.
Proposed
Action
Impact
Duration
PHYSICAL
ENVIRONMENT
Topography
Geology/Soils
Water
Quality
Air
Quality
Construction
Operation
Noise
Construction
Operation
Transportation
Utilities
Land
Use/Zoning
Existing
Land
Use
Prime
Farm
Land
Zoning
Visual
Resources
BIOLOGICAL
ENVIRONMENT
Plant
Cover
T
&
E
Species
Other
Species
Wildlife
T
&
E
Species
Other
Species
Human
Populations
ECONOMIC
ENVIRONMENT
Employment
Construction
Effects
Business
Tax
Base/Taxes
Federal
Budget
SOCIOCULTURAL
ENVIRONMENT
Public
Attitudes
Historic
Resources
Impacts
on
Children
Impacts
on
Low
Income
and
Minority
Populations
Community
Services
Recreational
Resources
Educational
Opportunities
Low
Permanent
Low
Temporary
None
Permanent
Low
Temporary
None
Low
Temporary
None
None
None
None
None
Low
Pennanent
None
None
Low
Temporary
V.
List
of
Preparers
Kimberly
K.
Wagner,
Ph.D.
Staff
Biologist/Environmental
Coordinator
USDA/APHIS/WS
Portland,
OR
97218
Michael
L.
Avery,
Ph.D.
Station
Leader
USDA/APHIS/WS/NWRC
Florida
Field
Station
Gainesville,
FL
Peter
Frederick,
Ph.D.
Department
of
Wildlife
Ecology
and
Conservation
University
of
Florida
Gainesville,
FL
John
Humphrey
Wildlife
Biologist
USDA/APHIS/WS/NWRC
Florida
Field
Station
Gainesville,
FL
VI.
List
of
Persons
Consulted
Michelle
Caldwell
Cremer
Data
Analyst,
Florida
Master
Site
File
Division
of
Historical
Resources
Tallahassee,
FL
Paul
Moler
Wildlife
Biologist
Florida
Fish
and
Wildlife
Conservation
Commission
Gainesville
FL
APPENDIX
A:
LITERATURE
CITED
Clarkson,
T.
W.
1993.
Mercury
Major
issues
in
environmental
health.
Environmental
Health
Perspectives
100:31-38.
Compeau,
G.
C.,
and
R.
Bartha.
1985.
Sulfate-reducing
bacteria:
Principal
methylators
of
mercury
in
anoxic
estuarine
sediment.
Applied
and
Environmental
Microbiology
50:498-502.
Fiinreite,
N.
1971.
Effects
of
dietary
methylmercury
on
ring-necked
pheasants.
Canadian
Wildlife
Service
Occasional
Papers
No.
9.
Frederick,
P.C.
(2003).
Effects
of
environmental
mercury
exposure
on
development
and
reproduction
in
White
Ibises:
controlled
experiments
in
captivity.
Proposal
to
Florida
Department
of
Environmental
Protection,
Tallahassee
Florida.
Fyfe,
R.
W., R.
W.
Risebrough
and
W.
Walker.
1976.
Pollutant
effects
on
the
reproduction
of
the
prairie
falcons
and
merlins
of
the
Canadian
prairies.
Canadian
Journal
of
Animal
Science
90:346-355.
Gilmour,
C.
C.,
E.
A.
Henry,
and
R.
Mitchell.
1992.
Sulfate
stimulation
of
mercury
methylation
in
fresh-water
sediments.
Environmental
Science
and
Technology
26:2281-2287.
Heinz,
G.
H.
1996.
Mercury
poisoning
in
wildlife.
Pages
118-127
In
A.
Fairbrother,
L.
N.
Locke,
G.
L.
Hoffs
eds.,
Noninfectious
Diseases
of
Wildlife.
Iowa
State
University
Press,
Ames,
IA.
Helander,
B.,
M.
Olsson,
and
L.
Reutergardh.
1982.
Residue
levels
of
organochlorine
and
mercury
compounds
in
unhatched
eggs
and
the
relationships
to
breeding
success
in
white-tailed
eagles
(Haliaeetus
albicilla)
in
Sweden.
Holarctic
Ecology
5:346-366.
Koivusaari,
J.,
I.
Nuuja,
R.
Polakangas,
and
M.
Finnlund.
1980.
Relationships
between
productivity,
eggshell
thickness
and
pollutant
contents
of
addled
eggs
in
the
population
of
white-
tailed
eagles
(Haliaeetus
albicilla)
in
Finland
during
1969-1978.
Environmental
Pollution
Series
A
Ecology
and
Biology
23:41-52.
Meyer,
M.W.
1998.
Ecological
risk
of
mercury
in
the
environment:
The
inadequacy
of
"the
best
available
science".
Environmental
Toxicology
and
Chemistry
17:137-138.
Scheuhammer,
A.
M.
1987.
The
chronic
toxicity
of
aluminum,
cadmium,
mercury,
and
lead
in
birds:
A
review.
Environmental
Pollution
46:263-295.
Stoewsand,
G.
S.,
C.
A.
Bache,
and
D.
J.
Lisk.
1974.
Dietary
selenium
protection
of
methylmercury
intoxication
of
Japanese
quail.
Bulletin
of
Environmental
Contamination
and
Toxicology
11:
152-56.
a.
Thompson,
D.
1996.
Mercury
in
birds
and
terrestrial
mammals.
Pages
341-356
in
W.N.
Beyer,
G.
H.
Heinz
and
A.
Redmon
eds.,
Interpreting
Environmental
Contaminants
in
Animal
Tissues.
Lewis
Publishers,
Boca
Raton,
Florida.
United
States
Department
of
Agriculture
(USDA).
1997
Revised.
Animal
Damage
Control
Program:
Final
Environmental
Impact
Statement.
United
States
Department
of
Agriculture,
Animal
and
Plant
Health
Inspection
Service,
Animal
Damage
Control,
Operational
Support
Staff,
4700
River
Road
Unit
87,
Riverdale,
MD
20737-1234.
Ve
weer,
K,
F.
A.
J.
Hatch,
and
D.
R.
M.
Hatch.
1973.
Mercury
in
aquatic
birds
at
Clay
Lake,
Western
Ontario.
Journal
of
Wildlife
Management
37:58-61.
Wolfe,
M.
F.,
R.
S.
Sulaiman,
S.
E.
Schwarzbach,
and
J.
Hofius.
1996.
Mercury
effects
on
wildlife:
a
comprehensive
review.
Mercury
Meeting
EPRI
Washington,
D.C.