Settlement Reached to Protect Cliff Swallows in California

On behalf of various conservation organizations, we reached a settlement with the California Department of Transportation ("Caltrans") concerning that agency’s construction activities at two bridges where a large colony of cliff swallows have nested after completing their six-thousand mile sojourn from South America. Last year, loose netting placed at the bridges trapped and killed large numbers of swallows and other migratory birds in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In response to subsequent litigation we filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Caltrans has now agreed, among other items, to remove all exclusionary netting from the bridges; wherever feasible, to use hard surface exclusionary materials to prevent birds from nesting on areas under construction; and to demolish the existing bridges outside the swallow nesting season. A copy of the press release announcing the settlement is here.