National

Apr 21, 2010 12:45 PM by Associated Press

Skunks, badgers enlisted to control pelicans

Idaho is enlisting badgers and skunks in its fight against pelicans that are eating too many sport fish and hurting sensitive populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game managers released three badgers and two skunks last week on Gull Island in southeastern Idaho's Blackfoot Reservoir.

Last year, federal officials rejected Idaho's plan to shoot birds and oil eggs to halve the nesting pelican population in southern and eastern Idaho by 2013.

Federal officials dubbed that an "eradication program."

So now, state managers are releasing predators, even though they opted against doing so in 2009 because they feared that badgers and skunks could hurt colonies of other nesting birds.

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