Photo: iStock mirceax
Poo-Poo screen

Device Saves Thousands of Birds

As he perched in a nearby tree, a small Saw-whet Owl spotted the roosting spot. “Perfect!” he thought.

The pipe was dark, warm, narrow. Definitely out of the wind. One really couldn’t ask for something better. The owl made his way down.

Soon he found himself in a dark, filthy space. His perfect roosting spot was actually a ventilation pipe on a self-contained, vault toilet in the woods. He was now on the other end of that pipe: the “basement.” And he was trapped.

Working for a Solution

Thousands of cavity-nesting birds get trapped and die in vault toilets each year, but that is changing.

Because of your support, the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation granted funds to the Teton Raptor Center’s Poo-Poo Project. The project addresses this tragic situation with a simple fix. But it didn’t start this way.

“Initially we covered vents with flat, expensive screens,” says David Watson, Development Director of the Teton Raptor Center. “The manufactured screens cost $100 each,” he says. “They were also difficult to install and there was really no ventilation if we got any snow.”

There had to be a better way.

Poo-Poo Project

In 2013 the Teton Raptor Center developed a new screen: durable, easy to install, superior ventilation
and affordable.

Installations started small and locally – the national forest as well as Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The screens were such a success that news of the simple, effective devices spread quickly.

Today dozens of other national parks, forests and recreation areas in Wyoming have hopped on board to protect the cavity-nesting birds. The screens are also saving birds in 32 other states. The hope is the remaining 18 states will soon follow suit.

“Can we make Wyoming the first state to have all its vault toilet vents covered with Poo-Poo Screens?” he asks.

With the support we’ve seen from people like you, we sure think so.