Belted Kingfishers are often seen perched on branches above a river, or hovering on rapidly beating wings before diving headfirst into the water to capture a fish.
But kingfishers feeding along the Ohio River are threatened by deadly mercury pollution. In the northeastern US, birds that eat fish, including the Belted Kingfisher, have some of the highest levels of mercury.
A decade ago, a ban on the release of large amounts of mercury into certain parts of the Ohio River was enacted by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO). Now, they are considering removing the ban all together, opening the door for “hot spots” of dangerous amounts of mercury to flow into the river.
Wildlife within the entire watershed—including those in small streams, wetlands and ponds—are at risk from increased mercury pollution in waterways if the toxic heavy metal is dumped into the river from nearby industrial facilities.
Help safeguard Belted Kingfisher habitat—speak out today to stop additional mercury pollution in the Ohio River—the last day for public input is Thursday, May 14th!
Accumulation of mercury in wildlife causes dangerous reproductive and neurological problems.Birds lay fewer eggs and have trouble caring for their chicks. Impacts on other wildlife include impaired motor skills that affect the ability to hunt and find food. Mercury can even change plumage coloration in kingfishers, affecting how potential mates see each other.
Friends of wildlife like you can help improve the health of the Ohio River watershed for wildlife like the Belted Kingfisher.
Thank you for all you do to protect wildlife and the natural world.