MEDIA RELEASE: San Antonio Residents Urge City to Stop Harassing Migratory Birds

MEDIA RELEASE: San Antonio Residents Urge City to Stop Harassing Migratory Birds

SAN ANTONIO (July 1, 2024)In Defense of Animals stands with outraged San Antonio residents who are urging officials to stop harassing and harming migratory birds in Woodlawn Lake Park and elsewhere in the city. 

City employees and San Antonio Parks and Recreation have misrepresented information to justify their assault on birds, claiming they are a health hazard. However, contractors are causing more damage in city parks by harassing birds, which threaten not only birds but the public..

Woodlawn Lake Park currently has migratory birds nesting on eggs and with babies who are experiencing explosives shot nearby by contractors who also appear to be trying to scare them away from the water as they try to feed, drink and cool down from extreme temperatures by banging wood boards.

Witnesses have reported one snowy egret nest with three snowy egret babies who had fallen out of their nest after a contractor was observed shooting explosives towards trees nearby. The babies did not survive. At least two little blue heron nests with eggs have been lost since the start of the noise harassment. More will follow if these individuals who have been observed acting in a reckless and unsafe manner by shooting explosives around people and families with children continue harassing birds, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Snowy egrets are one of several species currently nesting at Woodlawn Lake Park –they are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas. Little blue herons are listed as a Species of High Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for declining populations.

The city has stated it’s working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, but the contractors banging boards and shooting explosives in the park are from a subcontractor.

“It’s heartbreaking that these birds have not been allowed to peacefully nest and raise their babies in San Antonio, and that more will be lost because of the unethical harassment the city is allowing,” said Lisa Levinson of In Defense of Animals. “Texas is an important stopover for migratory birds who are increasingly threatened; the city must do better to support coexistence and conservation.” 

“I’ve observed and documented the migratory birds for over a decade and have been a witness to the destruction of habitat citywide,” said resident Alesia Garlock. “These birds are part of our cultural heritage, past, present and future. Relatives of the Indigenous people call this place Aztlan, place of herons.”

More than 13,700 people have signed In Defense of Animals’ alert urging officials to stop harassing birds in San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park, and more are urged to speak out.  


Images and video:


Lisa Levinson, In Defense of Animals,, 215-620-2130

Katie Nolan, In Defense of Animals, ‪, 203-823-8228, 

Alesia Garlock, resident,

National Goose Protection Coalition is an affiliate coalition of In Defense of Animals consisting of individuals, advocacy groups, and organizations who unite to stop lethal goose roundups and protect waterfowl in our communities and beyond. When you contact us to resolve a waterfowl issue in your community, we will connect you with one of our expert mentors for free advice and training.

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 40-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, rural Mississippi, and central California.


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