Each year, thousands of animals that like dark, narrow spaces for nesting and roosting are trapped in vertical open pipes such as ventilation pipes, claim stakes and chimneys. Vault toilets, the self-contained restrooms found in many of America’s wilderness areas, have ventilation pipes similar to the natural cavities various birds (like the long-eared owl pictured above) prefer. Once a bird enters the pipe, they are permanently stuck and can succumb to dehydration, starvation or disease. Teton Raptor Center (TRC) to the rescue! The TRC is a nonprofit raptor conservation organization based in Wyoming that created the Poo-Poo Project in 2010 which aims to prevent wildlife entrapment within vent pipes on vault toilets throughout the U.S. by installing screens. With the purchase and installation of two Poo-Poo Screens, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is the first TRC Poo-Poo Project partner in Kansas.
Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management