The coronavirus pandemic has set back efforts to combat plastic pollution, as environmentally conscious Bay Area residents are forced to abandon their good habits while efforts on the state level to reduce waste face uncertainty.
About three weeks ago, an ingenious gull hitched a ride on a Recology truck to a composting facility in California's Bay Area, returning to Farallon Islands Refuge the next day. How do we know? A GPS tracking device clearly shows it crossed the Bay Bridge, and then headed east on Interstates 980 and 580.
<p>I'm a great fan and admirer of scientists (Carl Safina in <em>Beyond Words</em>) and writers (Jennifer Ackerman in <em>The Genius of Birds</em>) who document there's a lot more going on in animal brains than traditional animal behavior scientists imagined. </p><p>Not only did they not imagine… they often derided the possibility. </p><p>But even Safina and Ackerman didn't imagine the antics of this <a href="http://bit.ly/2L73fVO" target="_blank">garbage-truck riding Western Gull</a> hitching a ride to an organic composting center before returning to its nest on the Farallon Islands west of San Francisco Bay.</p>
Spotted by a wildlife researcher
<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODE4Mjc1Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MTkxODEzOH0.H4fmWT-bhs6AunqOwmRmI-9p4Q8-Lu1SZhKSpfx4N3k/img.png?width=1245&coordinates=11%2C0%2C177%2C0&height=700" id="4b2a5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3490adb17261e935e2267bec29c288cb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Kudos to researcher Scott Shaffer from San Jose State University, who has been tracking Western gulls breeding on Farallon Islands Refuge to see where they feed. </p><p>From the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page:</p><blockquote><em>Gulls were tagged using GPS data loggers. To everyone's amazement, one ingenious gull must have hitched a ride on a Recology truck to a composting facility in Vernalis, CA.</em></blockquote><p>The <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoBayNWRComplex/videos/1952655818125581/" target="_blank">Facebook video showing the gull's route</a> is a worthy distraction. </p>
The scandal involving cheating in the $1 billion cleanup at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has until now focused on allegations of what was left behind at the site: radioactive dirt dumped into trenches to save the time and expense of testing and disposing of it properly.