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Game and Fish to install 200 Poo-Poo screens to save raptors


One of the top dangers facing raptors, and many other cavity nesting birds in Wyoming, is accidentally getting trapped in a vent pipe. For some raptors, that means entering down a vent pipe of a vault toilet- an outhouse - and being unable to fly out. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Teton Raptor Center, with support from Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, is working to prevent birds from this fate by installing 200 Poo-Poo screens on vault toilet vent pipes statewide, effectively protecting all Game and Fish owned facilities.

The installation of Poo-Poo screens broadly in Wyoming is a project of the Teton Raptor Center, part of their national effort to save raptors. The screens are designed and sold by the Teton Raptor Center for only $30 a screen.

“We were impressed by the this simple solution that saves so many cavity nesting birds. We saw that by making an investment, we could make a significant impact on wildlife. The Wyoming Wildlife Foundation likes to support innovative solutions like this one,” said Tony Woodell, director of the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation.

Open ended pipes are attractive to cavity nesting birds but unfortunately the birds go down into the pipe and can’t spread their wings to fly out nor climb the smooth walls. The screen works by preventing birds from getting into the pipe initially. And, it is 100 percent effective without disrupting ventilation. The screens are projected to last as long as the vault toilets do.

“The project is an easy, low-cost fix to a problem that has direct benefits to wildlife in Wyoming,” said Ian Tator, Game and Fish statewide terrestrial habitat manager. “Thank you to the Teton Raptor Center and the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation for their assistance in making these improvements to our facilities a reality.”

Wyoming has screens on 1,197 vault toilets scattered throughout the state. Yet, the screens are making a big impact for raptors not only in Wyoming but also nationwide. “We began selling the screens in 2013 and we have now sold 8,732 through 254 partners in 33 states. The majority of these vault toilets are on public land agency properties,” said David Watson, Teton Raptor Center director of development and communications.

The public can support this project by contributing to the Sponsor-a-Screen program. Donations are used to purchase screens and then Teton Raptor Center finds a vault toilet for placement.

For more information, call Wyoming Game and Fish at (307) 777-4600.


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