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America’s Wildlife Body Count: Your Tax Dollars at Work.

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 17, 2016

canis_latransby Richard Conniff/The New York Times

Until recently, I had never had any dealings with Wildlife Services, a century-old agency of the United States Department of Agriculture with a reputation for strong-arm tactics and secrecy. It is beloved by many farmers and ranchers and hated in equal measure by conservationists, for the same basic reason: It routinely kills predators and an astounding assortment of other animals — 3.2 million of them last year — because ranchers and farmers regard them as pests.

To be clear, Wildlife Services is a separate entity, in a different federal agency, from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, whose main goal is wildlife conservation. Wildlife Services is interested in control — ostensibly, “to allow people and wildlife to coexist.”

My own mildly surreal acquaintance with its methods began as a result of a study, published this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, under the title “Predator Control Should Not Be a Shot in the Dark.” Adrian Treves of the University of Wisconsin and his co-authors set out to answer a seemingly simple question: Does the practice of predator control to protect our livestock actually work?

To find out, the researchers reviewed scientific studies of predator control regimens — some lethal, some not — over the past 40 years. The results were alarming. Of the roughly 100 studies surveyed …

Read the full article here.

One Response to “America’s Wildlife Body Count: Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

  1. Asked fact-checking questions about the graphics in the NY Times, Wildlife Services began its reply: ” Replace terminology ‘Poison’ with ‘Registered toxicant.’”

    They do not even realize just how Orwellian they sound.

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