Allen Fish

I'm a fifth-generation San Francisco Bay Area native who grew up in the creeks and oaks of the Coast Range. As director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory since 1985, I have focused on raptor biology and conservation issues, migration studies, and population tracking. But I also follow broader conservation issues in the state, such as pesticide use, loss of wildlands and ranches, and climate impacts.

I am especially concerned in 2012 about the rapid pace of development of supposed "green" energy projects and their destruction of grasslands and deserts, and direct killing of birds of prey, bats, and other native species. This is a widespread problem with few local champions. Please pay close attention to quick-fix green energy projects; they often have unacceptable ecological impacts, and the developers are anything but green.

Another current national issue that challenges the survival of raptors, pets, and all predators is the easy availability of second generation anti-coagulant rat poisons, such as d-Con. Rodenticides force dehydrated and weakended rats out into urban and rural neighborhoods where they are easily picked off by young hawks and owls. The raptors then bleed to death as a result. Not since DDT has such an ecologically toxic poison but so widely available. Children can buy this stuff off the shelf at bigbox hardware stores in a cute yellow "cheese-wedge" box. For more info,