Hey, Wildlife Services – what did you kill?

by Ben Goldfarb, June 11, 2014

Earlier this month, Wildlife Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture division responsible for animal control, released data indicating that it killed over four million creatures in 2013 — a million more than it did the previous year. The agency, whose stated mission is to provide “leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts,” undertakes plenty of non-lethal management, too: It dispersed nearly 18 million animals in 2013, shooting fish-stealing sea lions with rubber bullets and firing paintballs at bald eagles nesting near airports. Yet it was the hefty death toll that grabbed headlines — and outraged conservation groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, which called the agency’s work “a staggering killing campaign, bankrolled by taxpayers.”

Wildlife Services spokespeople say that all lethal control efforts, from putting down raccoons to prevent the spread of rabies to controlling expanding wolf populations, are based in sound science. But the agency’s 665-page information dump provides little context for individual killings. That’s not out of character for Wildlife Services, which Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has called “one of the most opaque and obstinate departments I’ve dealt with.” Fear not: High Country News has sifted through the report to help our readers make sense of the slaughter. Scroll through the below interactive infographic to experience a year in Wildlife Services’ campaign of lethal control.

Click HERE for the Infographics and the original article

USDA’s secret war on wildlife

from Predator Defense

In “EXPOSED” you’ll see three former federal agents and a prominent Congressman blow the whistle on the USDA’s barbaric and wasteful Wildlife Services program and expose the government’s secret war on wildlife. Watch film.  Jane Goodall has given “EXPOSED” a rave review and said she wants millions to see it. It also won Best Short at the 2015 Animal Film Festival and Best Wildlife Activism at the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, the premier wildlife film festival in N. America.

About the Film

An agency within the USDA called Wildlife Services—a misnamed entity if there ever was one—has been having their way for almost a century, killing millions of wild animals a year, as well as maiming, poisoning, and brutalizing countless pets. They have also seriously harmed more than a few humans. And they apparently think they are going to continue getting away with it.

But in our new documentary, EXPOSED: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife, whistle-blowers go on the record showing Wildlife Services for what it really is—an unaccountable, out-of-control, wildlife killing machine that acts at the bidding of corporate agriculture and the hunting lobby, all with taxpayer dollars.

Our call for reforming this rogue agency is getting serious attention. A teaser of EXPOSED was featured on CNN Headline News and is slated for an upcoming special segment. We’re also working to get a CBS “60 Minutes” exposé.

In 2015 we are kicking off a nationwide film screening tour. Whistleblower Rex Shaddox will attend some of our screenings and we hope to have other speakers tour with us if we can raise enough funds.

Click HERE for the complete, original article.

Wildlife Management Funding in the U.S.

Wildlife Conservation & Management Funding in the U.S.

By Mark E. Smith and Donald A. Molde

October 2014 (updated 21 June 2015)


The authors present a novel approach to help answer the question “Who really pays for wildlife in the U.S?” Using public information about budgets of various conservation, wildlife advocacy, and land management agencies and non-profit organizations, published studies and educated assumptions regarding sources of Pittman-Robertson Act and Dingle-Johnson Act federal excise monies from the sale of sporting equipment, the authors contend that approximately 95% of federal, 88% of non-profit, and 94% of total funding for wildlife conservation and management come from the non-hunting public. The authors further contend that a proper understanding and accurate public perception of this funding question is a necessary next step in furthering the current debate as to whether and how much influence the general public should have at the wildlife policy-making level, particularly within state wildlife agencies.

Read the full paper here:  Smith Molde Wildlife Funding spreadsheet Rev F2 19Jun15.

Our federal government killed 3 million animals last year

by Laura Dattaro, April 14, 2015

When the US government spends money on wildlife, it’s usually to protect it. But there’s also an agency tasked with killing wild animals — and last year it took out nearly three million of them.  Wildlife Services, which operates under the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), is tasked with responding to conflicts between humans and wildlife and to manage invasive populations.

But critics say the agency’s methods are crude and not in line with the latest conservation science.  “The whole approach of just getting rid of the perceived problem by killing it is something that this agency has been doing for well over 100 years,” Bradley Bergstrom, a biologist at Valdosta State University, told VICE News.

In 2014, Wildlife Services killed more than 2.7 million animals, 1.3 million of which were native, noninvasive species. They included 570 black bears, 322 gray wolves, 61,702 coyotes, 2,930 foxes, and 305 mountain lions. The agency also killed three bald eagles and five golden eagles using methods like cyanide capsules, neck snares, and foot traps. Accidental kills are a frequent byproduct of the agency’s methods. Of the 454 river otters killed, for example, 390 were unintentional, likely during attempts to kill beavers, which can flood property with their dams……

Click HERE for complete article.

Humans have changed the planet

Here’s how we design for that now

by Helen Walters

For most of us, the job of taking care of the planet is very definitely the responsibility of Someone Else. We might have thoughts, we might have standards, we might even have a composting habit, but we more than likely hope and expect that the trained professionals have got this under control. One problem, of course, is that those who are trained to look after the world often come from many different disciplines; they might be working on the same problem simultaneously from two very different points of view that clash.

That has to change, says landscape architect and TED Fellow Bradley Cantrell in this epic conversation with ecologist Erle Ellis. Below, the pair talk about how their two professions can understand each other and work together in surprising ways to build a sustainable future for wolves, rhinos, butterflies … and us……

Click HERE for complete article