Wildlife Agencies In The Bag For Hunters – Time For A Change

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Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them

In January, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game sent a helicopter into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to radio-collar wolves. This incursion violated the rules of the federally protected wilderness area. It also broke the department’s own agreement with the federal government, dating from a prior violation in which Fish and Game sent a trapper into the protected area to exterminate wolves. By the time conservationists filed suit in that 2013 incident, nine wolves in two packs were already dead.

 Idaho Fish and Game is, let’s be frank, an outlaw agency. It regards killing wolves as part of its sacred duty to protect elk for hunters. The agency is apparently clueless about the abundant evidence that strong predators make strong habitats and strong prey.

But let’s not pick on Idaho. What happened there fit seamlessly with the entire long history of wildlife agencies manipulating the environment for the benefit of hunters. In truth, that kind of game management dates back at least to Charlemagne and Genghis Khan, and it persists today in the names and the mind-set of the many wildlife agencies that still call themselves fish and game departments.

Predator control tends to get the headlines. But these agencies also engage in large-scale alterations of the landscape—by clearing forests, conducting prescribed burns, building water catchments, removing shrubs from wetlands, and other means—to benefit game animals, with little or no regard for how this will affect all the other non-game species living in that habitat. And the habitat in question is huge. In Scotland, for instance, 58 percent of the total land area is managed for hunting, mostly upland birds. In Slovenia, it’s 94 percent of the total land area.

The widespread character of this land management caught the attention of Travis Gallo, a doctoral candidate in conservation biology at Colorado State University. He was also interested in how much money goes into game management, especially compared to what other nongame species get. Hunting licenses in the United States contributed $790 million to wildlife programs in 2013, and special duties and taxes on hunting gear, via the Wildlife Restoration Act, added another $550 million.

Gallo’s original idea was that, even if this funding results in a one-sided focus on game animals, there might be inadvertent benefits for nongame wildlife too. Like a lot of people in Colorado, he’s a hunter himself, for deer and elk, and “I really wanted to find some synergy,” he said. What he found instead, he reports in a new study in the journal Biological Conservation, is that hardly anybody even bothers to ask the question.

A broad search of the scientific literature revealed just 26 studies “that directly evaluated the effect of game management practices on non-targeted wildlife.” The effect was positive 40 percent of the time and negative 37 percent of the time, more or less what you would expect by chance.

On the positive side, for example, wildlife agencies removed shrubs from wetlands in the Great Lakes to create habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, a game bird. But that inadvertently also benefited birds like LeConte’s sparrow and the sage wren, which also require open wetland habitat. Water catchments in Arizona turned out to benefit native bats more than the mule deer and other game species for which they were intended. On the negative side, the United Kingdom manages habitat for fallow deer, roe deer, and the Reeves’s muntjac (a deer species native to China), and this inadvertently causes sharp declines in native British birds such as the common nightingale, the willow warbler, and the chiffchaff. Managing for overabundant elk at the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming nibbles down cover that would otherwise harbor migratory shorebirds and songbirds.

In the new study, Gallo and his coauthor, Liba Pejchar, note up front that they aren’t “advocating that hunting be reduced or prohibited on either public or private lands.” They rightly note that a lot of habitat and species now survive only because of hunters. In the United States, big game hunters launched the conservation movement in the late 19th century, just in time to save the bison from extinction. They drove through the passage of the Lacey Act, which remains our fundamental law against illegal wildlife and plant trafficking. They played a major role in creating some of our most important national parks.

But that doesn’t mean the hook-and-bullet mentality should be ruling our wildlife agencies today, if only as a matter of their own self-preservation. The number of people identifying themselves as hunters (and paying those license fees) is sharply declining, down to just 13.7 million in 2012. But in the same survey, 71.8 million Americans said they were wildlife watchers. One way to get wildlife agencies to broaden their focus to nongame animals would be for those wildlife watchers to begin to take over the funding. That is, you and I should be stepping up to pay a special wildlife tax on our binoculars and our birdfeeders, the way hunters do on their guns.  That was the gist of the Teaming With Wildlife Act of 2009, but it went nowhere in Congress.

The other important take-home message from the new study, said Gallo, is that wildlife agencies need to do real science on how game management impacts nongame species. In particular, they need to investigate the likely compounding effect when they combine outdated predator control programs with unscientific habitat manipulations.

That is, wildlife agencies need to grow up, stop distorting the landscape for the recreational interests of one narrow interest group, and start practicing holistic management for the benefit of entire ecosystems.

http://news.yahoo.com/time-wildlife-agencies-protect-animals-not-kill-them-165133283.html

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“Time for Wildlife Agencies to Protect Animals, Not Kill Them”

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Posted in: Gray wolf, Wolf Wars Animal Cruelty

Top Photo: Gray wolf Pinterest

Bottom Photo: Takepartdotcom

Tags: Wildlife agencies, killing not saving, hunters, wildlife watchers, wolves, IDFG, animal cruelty

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All Howl And No Bite? The Big Dog Gets A Bum Rap!

The anti-w0lf crowd loves to rant about scary big, bad wolves but in fact it’s not the wolf that bites and kills humans. it’s our best friends and wolves very close relatives,  the dog. Wolves and dogs share 99.8% of their DNA, making them almost indistinguishable on the cellular level.

We love our dogs and forgive them their transgressions.  Not so with wolves.

Fatal Dog Maulings/Dog Bites


DOGS BITE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EACH YEAR IN THE US (wiki) BETWEEN 2006 AND 2008 THEY KILLED 88 PEOPLE.

“Dog attacks are attacks on humans by feral or domestic dogs. With the close association of dogs and humans in daily life (largely as pets), dog attacks—with injuries from very minor to significant, and severe to fatal—are not uncommon. Attacks on the serious end of the spectrum have become the focus of increasing media and public attention in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

It is estimated that two percent of the US population, 4.7 million people, are bitten each year. In the 1980s and 1990s the US averaged 17 fatalities per year, while in the 2000s this has increased to 26.

77% of dog bites are from the pet of family or friends, and 50% of attacks occur on the dog owner’s property.

I’m a devoted dog lover with pooches of my own but fair is fair. Wild wolves are shy, they avoid contact with humans and are one of the least dangerous of all large carnivores. They’ve been linked to just TWO HUMAN FATALITIES IN ONE HUNDRED YEARS in North America. Both deaths were controversial, with no eye witnesses. The Canadian case took two years to decide, with investigators vacillating between bears and wolves as the culprits, Many people believe still believe a bear killed the victim and wolves came after.  Finally they settled on wolves. I’m not fully buying it but even if it’s true, two deaths in a century?

More than anything these statistics show the tremendous restraint wolves exhibit toward humans. If any species should despise man, it’s the wolf. They’ve been trapped, shot, hung, fed broken glass poisoned,  set on fire, drug behind horses, stabbed, almost any kind of torture you can imagine.

Yet they live ordered lives in close family groups, they love their babies, defend each other, play together, hunt together and die together. They are dedication personified. These are traits we should revere, not denigrate. If we can forgive man’s best friend for biting and even killing us then how can we judge the wolf, who very rarely ever does the same?

The facts reveal the true nature of wolves and show how twisted and dishonest the rabid anti-wolf movement is. The lies spread about wolves have nothing to do with reality.

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COWS


COWS KILL 20 PEOPLE A YEAR

Dangerous Cows

July 31, 2009, 1:36 pm

By Denise Grady

The image of cows as placid, gentle creatures is a city slicker’s fantasy, judging from an article   published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that about 20 people a year are killed by cows in the United States. In some cases, the cows actually attack humans—ramming them, knocking them down, goring them, trampling them and kicking them in the  head—resulting in fatal injuries to the head and chest.

Mother cows, like other animals, can be fiercely protective of their young, and dairy bulls, the report notes, are “especially possessive of their herd and occasionally disrupt feeding, cleaning, and milking routines.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article

 
 

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Wildlife Vehicle Collisions


WVC  KILL AT LEAST 200 PEOPLE A YEAR AND INJURE 29,000

Wildlife Vehicle Collisions are deadly. Deer and other wildlife dart in front of cars causing fatal accidents. Deer/car accidents are higher during hunting season when deer are even more frantic, running for their lives. The costs can run into billions of dollars.  There are at least 200 human fatalities annually from Wildlife Vehicle Collisions.

Frequent Large Mammal Roadkill Facts

Average deer weight: 125-300 pounds
Average deer shoulder height: 3.5 feet
Average moose weight: males 1200-1600 pounds,
females 900 pounds
Average moose shoulder height: 6.2 feet

Threats to People

There are 1 to 2 million wildlife-vehicle collisions
(WVCs) in the U.S. every year, and the number is
steadily increasing.

Over 200 human fatalities annually
From 2000-2006, wildlife-related crashes in the
United States have claimed 2,307 human lives

WVCs cause 29,000 human injuries annually
Over a billion dollars in property damage/year

While only 2% of deer-car collisions result in
human fatalities, 85% of deer-motorcycle collisions
result in human fatalities

Car-deer crashes in Michigan occur about every
eight minutes

More than 75,000 deer are killed in New York
every year by vehicle collisions

6 percent of accidents in Colorado are with wildlife,
and can be as high as 25 percent in some areas

Deer-vehicle crashes occur most frequently from
October to December

Collisions causing human fatalities rose 67% from
1994 to 2006

CLICK HERE for link to article

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Hunters


HUNTING ACCIDENTS KILL ALMOST 100 PEOPLE ANNUALLY IN THE US AND CANADA

Who is more dangerous to people? Hunters or wolves? If you look at the stats it’s hunter’s hands down. There are approx. 100 fatal hunting accidents in the US and Canada and a 1000 more people are shot accidentally by hunters every year (IHEA)

Many hunters are in lock step with the anti-wolf movement. There is talk of marauding Canadian wolves terrorizing the countryside, stalking children at bus stops, chasing people around in the woods. But lets look at the facts. Hunters kill more people in hunting accidents every year than wolves have in a hundred years. In fact, it’s not even close.

The statistics don’t lie.  If you extrapolate the numbers out just ten years, that’s almost a 1000 people dead from hunting accidents. yet wolves are demonized and lied about. The facts are there for anyone to examine.  Hunting accidents kill and maim.

Click Here for Class A Incidents Reported for 2002 –  2007 – HTML Table

(as of March 30, 2008)

Incident Reports CLICK HERE

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NC: Two NC Boys Killed In Separate Squirrel-Hunting Accidents

Raleigh, NC — A 14-year-old in Brunswick County and an eight-year-old in Raleigh both died Tuesday after accidental shootings.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article

Swan Lake tot dies from hunting accident; NYC man charged with manslaughter

By Victor Whitman
Times Herald-Record
Published: 8:22 AM – 11/17/08
SWAN LAKE — A Swan Lake toddler has died and a New York City man has been charged with manslaughter in the hunting accident on a rural Sullivan County road Sunday afternoon.

CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article

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Insect Bites


40 DEATHS ANNUALLY

“In the U.S., about 40 deaths are reported each year from insect venom anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). These fatal allergic reactions frequently, but not always, occur in people who have had a previous allergic reaction to the same type of insect.”

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Snake Bites


45,000 BITES PER YEAR/7-12 BITES ARE FATAL (wiki)

“People provoke bites by handling or even attacking snakes in a significant number of cases in the United States.”

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I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Wolves have gotten a very bad rap and we need to set the record straight.  Cows, dogs, snakes, deer and moose are all more dangerous to humans then wolves. Yet who defends the wolf when the lies are told? Most go unchallenged until they become dogma.

Speak the truth about wolves. Help fight their persecution.

This is the hysteria and fear-mongering we must fight against. Arm yourself with facts and defend wolves.

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Wolf-fearing ID lawmakers want emergency declared

– The Associated Press

Published: 04/01/11

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/04/01/1589029/wolf-fearing-id-lawmakers-want.html#ixzz1IL9DYqyp

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“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes”….Mark Twain


Photos: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Posted in: Wolf Wars, wolf myths

Tags: wolf persecution, lies and myths, gray wolf, vehicle wildlife accidents, hunters, dogs, cows, snakes, insects

 

 

 

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