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Update #13

KilligWildlife-or-NationalParks.png

Facts and figures

America’s National Park Service’s budget hasn't changed in seven years, but now the sequester will force over a $100 million in cuts to the Park Service – just as tourist season begins. To save our national parks, Congress could easily trim $100 million from the federal-wildlife killers’ budget and divert it to the Park Service. Instead of killing enough coyotes to cover the length of 700 football fields like they did in 2011, national gems like Yellowstone and Yosemite could be funded. (http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2013/05/28/nbc-us-national-parks-under-stress-and-trouble-following-sequester )

Rather than support the USDA’s wasteful program that kills millions of America’s birds, mammals, fish, and even domestic pets each year for agribusiness and other conglomerates, Congress should reroute this misused taxpayer money. The Park Service’s cuts will mean more uncollected garbage, fewer cleared trails, shorter visiting hours and fewer visitors. $100 million doesn’t just hurt our parks, it harms the local surrounding communities, which rely on tourism business. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-keith-ellison/sequester-slashed-110-mil_b_3333723.html)

Our national parks supply the economic lifeblood for countless communities across the United States. National parks contribute more than $30 billion in economic activity, support more than 250,000 jobs, and generate $9.34 billion in labor income!

So the bottom line is, the majority of Americans, who appreciate wildlife and wild places are getting ripped off. Tax dollars which should pay for wildlife conservation, national park preservation, and related jobs, are used to destroy our nation’s wildlife, against our wishes.

Help right this wrong! Please join our letter to Congressional leaders. These two elected officials must hear our outcry that we value our parks and cherish our wildlife, but we abhor the waste, abuse, and misuse of federal funds to kill our precious wildlife for the well-heeled few in agribusiness. (http://www.causes.com/endwildlifeservicesfunding)

Please join us to end the government’s war on wildlife.

Update #12

End taxpayer funded wildlife killing

Facts and figures

It's been more than 90 days since the sequestor started back on March 1 and though some programs received last minute funding, others—like disaster prediction—remain ill-funded, putting thousands at risk from tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.

Rather than slashing the budget of a truly archaic operation, such as the USDA's Wildlife Services program, Congress would rather underfund critical disaster prediction work performed by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

They've chosen to keep wildlife killing in full swing while cutting disaster forecasting, warning systems, preparedness, and response from the federal budget (http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/opinion/report/052913_faith_in_values/faith-values-sequestration-hurts-all-us-not-just-most-vulnerable/). 

 

Why put so many Americans at risk from disaster or worse, when outdated programs like Wildlife Services remain in operation, killing millions of animals each year?

In the wake of recent, horrific tornadoes in Oklahoma and the mid-west, disaster relief and relief personnel who depend on federal funding, makes this type of funding more necessary than ever.

Join us by adding your name to our letter to Senator Harry Reid and Representative John Boehner. We're saying it's time they roll up their sleeves and get busy. Defund the USDA's Wildlife Services, and instead spend our precious tax monies on things that benefit Americans and can help lessen the toll the big disasters take.

Update #11

KilligWildlife-or-This-Food-Safety.png

Facts and figures

Did it really need to go this far?

Food safety inspections came perilously close to the chopping block due to the sequestration, the automatic cuts to the federal budget.

This begs the question: Why would American's food safety even face reductions when wasteful and cruel programs like the USDA's Wildlife Services continue to receive a significant funds?

Could it be that Congress feels the pressure of a gigantic agribusiness lobby? (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B69WClhgOm5XUHZqYTAwWENzaXc/edit)

That's why you need to sign here, speak out, and tell your friends too!

 

In FY 2010, Wildlife Services admitted it killed 5 million animals, including 112,781 mammalian carnivores such as coyotes, wolves, bobcats, cougars, badgers and bears, and even hundreds of pet dogs and cats.

Two years later, in newly-released data, the agency claimed it killed a total of 3.4 million animals, (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/prog_data/2012_prog_data/PDR_G/Basic_Tables_PDR_G/Table%20G_ShortReport.pdf) including 76,048 coyotes, 501 gray wolves, 2 grizzly bears, 1 Mexican wolf, 25,653 beavers, and 1,027 bobcats.

Jim Baca, a former director of the Bureau of Land Management, called the "misnamed" Wildlife Services the "carpet bomber of the West."

We need you to join our cause. With enough citizen pressure, together we can end the government's dirty little war on wildlife. Wildlife need you to contact Congress and demand it stop funding this expensive and unnecessary program.

Update #10

KilligWildlife-or-This-Kids-Lunches.png

Facts and figures

The sequester: A series of Federal budget cuts that went
into effect in March 2013 in an effort to balance the federal deficit.

The good news: an effort to control excessive federal spending with taxpayer dollars.

 

The bad news: Congress is targeting the wrong programs to cut. Instead of focusing cuts on meals for seniors, school lunch programs for children, food safety in light of massive recalls, disaster prediction equipment, and national parks, the Feds should be focusing on programs Americans really don't want, like massive wildlife killing programs carried out by the USDA's Wildlife Services.

Not only does the program receive nearly $100 million dollars a year (http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/PageServer?pagename=priorities_wildlife_war_wildlife_funding#.UZZrfoJKAfp) in Federal tax assistance, but the agency itself doles out huge salaries (https://docs.google.com/a/wildearthguardians.org/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq9WClhgOm5XdE50TjRtZW45cF8teC1mZmFPX1liOEE#gid=0) to many in management, a further slap in the face for the 7.5 % of unemployed American citizens.

We agree with budget cuts to regain the health and stability of the U.S., but don't agree with the current cuts. We think it would be prudent and fiscally responsible for leadership in Washington to focus on programs that are in excess or no longer relevant to the current environment and times.

Please join us and add your name to our letter targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to cut the budget of Wildlife Services—a program that America doesn't want or need.

Update #9

Wolves

Facts and figures

In 2011, the USDA's wildlife killing agency, "Wildlife Services," snuffed out 365 wolves. At least, that's what they reported.

We say reported, because we learned that in some cases the agents shoot first, and then identify the endangered species they kill afterwards, as in the shooting death of a highly-endangered Mexican wolf. In January, a Wildlife Services agent shot a Mexican wolf, but claimed that a he "thought" he killed a coyote in New Mexico.  

In April, the Albuquerque Journal, not the agency, broke the news of the Mexican wolf shooting to the public. Wildlife Services likes to hide important information about what it does from the public—even though it's our money and our wildlife!

Last year, Wildlife Services claimed that the Fox Mountain Mexican wolf pack killed six cows, and used its faulty schoolyard forensics "evidence" to get a sister agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to issue an order for the lethal removal of the pack's mother. In the end, because of a huge public outcry—all the way to the steps of the White House—the feds determined not to kill the wolf mother. Instead, she was trapped and incarcerated for life. It marked a horrible outcome for her, her life-long mate and wolf pups—not to mention being a complete step backwards for this dwindling species.

In the case of the Fox Mountain wolf pack, WildEarth Guardians requested the government's records. What we received were 700 pages of blackened-out records and no clear evidence to support the claims that six cattle were killed by this wolf pack. We have since asked Congressman Jared Polis to help us get those records . . . and we're still waiting, even with his help.

The list goes on and on. Most American taxpayers want to see an end to the tax-payer-funded, wildlife bloodshed, but the agency remains funded and continues to kill wolves, bears, eagles, and cougars—even while many Americans are suffering during hard economic times.

We say it is time to end the funding for the government's war on wildlife. Join us by sharing the truth about this rogue agency with your friends and family. Lastly, please make a donation to our end the war on wildlife campaign.

Thank you for being a force for nature.

Update #8

Turkey Vulture

Facts and figures

The USDA's unsuitably-named, wildlife-killing agency, "Wildlife Services", eradicated nearly 1,600 black and turkey vultures in 2011. Why?

According to the USDA's website, vultures are killed for roosting on buildings, vehicles, and even pool covers. They're snuffed out because they are seen as a threat to ranchers and livestock. Slaughtered for living on communication towers, vultures get exterminated just for being vultures.  And this comes despite dramatic decreases in their populations in recent years because of pesticides and other forms of persecution because they are misunderstood.

Black vultures, turkey vultures, and the very endangered California condors, are native to North America.  As scavengers, vultures, also known as buzzards, play an important role in the ecosystem by feasting on dead animals. Natural garbage collectors, vultures clean up the environment and help prevent the spread of disease. Ironically, vultures even stop diseases like anthrax, which can threaten domestic livestock.

Not everyone sees vultures as a creepy harbingers of death—many cultures revere them as sacred because of their carrion- eating roles. Tibetan Buddhists practice "sky burials," where animals, usually vultures, devour their dead. Similarly, Zoroastrians offer their dead to be consumed by vultures on a raised platform, called a dakhma. They regard vultures as precious animals that release the soul from the body.

Vulture killings and conflicts are not isolated to the United States—the loss and killing of vultures is an international issue that raises profound disease-transmission concerns. Learn more about vultures by watching this great Ted Talk by Munir Virani, who is a raptor biologist, and the director of the Peregrine Fund Africa Program.

Please share this information, let people know about the cruelties our wildlife is subjected to. Let's end the government's war on wildlife.

Update #7

Black Bear

Facts and figures

Imagine your only crime is wandering through a forest looking for a meal after a long winter's nap. For nearly 600 black bears in 2011, their lives were ended by the USDA's Wildlife Services for filling their hungry bellies. It's a travesty as much as it is unconscionable, and taxpayers funded much of the killing.

Black bear habitat is disappearing due to unprecedented rates of suburban and urban growth. Because of habitat loss, bears increasingly find themselves in ex-urban areas resulting in conflicts with humans and high levels of mortality. Roads spider-webbing into once pristine habitat makes it easier for hunters and poachers to kill bears, and roads increase the opportunity for vehicle-bear collisions. A shift in global temperatures may especially affect hibernating species such as black bears.

Black bears, the third largest carnivore in North America (behind grizzly and polar bears), survive mainly on plant materials. Black bears prefer forest habitat for forage and movement. They disperse seed and nutrients and create biological diversity by creating small-scale disturbances that open up the forest canopy.

In arid climates such as Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico, bears are slow to add new members to their populations, and are vulnerable to human over-exploitation. A Colorado study showed the females do not breed until they are almost five years of age, and the birth interval comes every two years-depending on sufficient food availability. Random events such as food failures, droughts, or late frosts can decrease forage and increase human-bear conflicts leading to bear mortalities. Winter can add further stresses. Because black bears are not resilient due to their slow reproduction rates, they are seriously affected by habitat loss, negative encounters with humans,  and overkill.

Bottom-line, black bears matter, black bears are an essential part of the ecosystem, black bears should not be trapped, hounded and shot, or otherwise killed with your tax dollars.

Help us to spread the word, most people don't know about the truth about the ways this agency operates. Then take your support a step further and donate to our End the War on Wildlife Campaign.

Update #6

golden eagle

Facts and figures

As reported in the Sacramento Bee's monumental exposé, "Wildlife Services," the federal, wildlife-killing program, uses brutal methods that even claim the lives of federally-protected species. Golden eagles are often likely killed, but their deaths go unrecorded.

In 2011, "Wildlife Services" reported it killed no golden eagles. But as former animal damage agent Gary Strader shared, the agency promotes an internal "shoot, shovel, and shut up" agenda. Strader's supervisor had told him to simply bury a golden eagle he had inadvertently caught in a leghold trap – so long as there were no witnesses.

Worse, "Wildlife Services" liberally sets out a dangerous avian poison, called DRC-1339, in baits in the golden eagles' habitat – ostensibly to kill common ravens, but  this poison does not discriminate between its avian victims—whether common or rare, nor is it a humane death, it takes up to 3 days to act.

Wildlife Services' practices remain indiscriminate, at odds with science, sadistic, and sometimes illegal, and so we have sued them, sought Congressional and Presidential help, informed media stories, and exposed their misdeeds before a host of decision makers and elected officials.

WildEarth Guardians works to raise public awareness and gain political momentum to end funding of this extremely dangerous federal program.  Indeed, part of our mission is to end the taxpayer-funded war on wildlife. Won't you help us?

If you have not done so already, please visit our website at www.wildearthguardians.org to learn more about our campaign and to sign up for our action alerts. Most recently we have issued an action alert email campaign calling for an investigation into the agency for keeping the killing of an highly-endangered Mexican wolf, by one of their own agents in January, hidden from the public. This issue was just brought to light by the media—three months later!

Thank you for joining our cause and being a voice for the wild.

Update #5

mountain lion

Facts and figures

Just as biologists note that mountain lions (also called cougars or pumas) are vital drivers in their native ecosystems, decision makers allow unsustainable levels of exploitation of their populations. In 2011, the USDA's wildlife killing agency killed over 400 mountain lions—this is in addition to heavy-handed trophy hunting allowed by state wildlife-management agencies.

By modulating deer populations, mountain lions prevent overgrazing near fragile riparian habitats. The result: more cottonwoods, rushes, cattails, wildflowers, amphibians, lizards, and butterflies, as well as deeper but narrower stream channels.  In short, when mountain lions are essential to the landscape. Where they are present, there is greater biological diversity and greater ecosystem function.

WildEarth Guardians believes all wildlife has a place on the landscape and taxpayers should not be forced to fund massive wildlife killing for the benefit of hunters (who wrongly believe they compete with mountain lions for deer or elk), nor those agribusiness (who routinely exaggerate minuscule livestock losses from mountain lions and other native carnivores).

We're working to end the government's war on wildlife. Learn more, and then become a member of WildEarth Guardians!

SUGGESTED LINKS:

States and Trophy hunting

Lions and ecosystem health

Hunters complain about resource competition

Livestock losses

Photo Credit: Richard Badger

Update #4

black bird

Facts and figures

657,134 red-winged blackbirds were killed by the ironically-named USDA program, "Wildlife Services," in 2011 purportedly for agribusiness. Farmers complain that birds eat sunflower seeds, cattle grain, or defecate on livestock and farm equipment. "Wildlife Services" Bye Bye Blackbird operations, has targeted millions of grackles, starlings, and numerous species of blackbirds. But the bird poison "Wildlife Services" uses, DRC-1339, is so lethal it can also kill many other unintended bird species including eagles, hawks, and cranes.

If fact in 2009, the USDA eliminated a staggering 4,000,000 birds. Since then, "Wildlife Services" has reported far fewer kills. But because DRC-1339 takes three days to act, the government likely does not count all the birds it has poisoned, and further, it seems to be reluctant to tell how many birds it actually kills.

Join us in our campaign to defund the government's war on wildlife. Share this information with those around you. "Wildlife Services" is an antiquated, unnecessary and secretive USDA program that has long outlived its place on the taxpayer dole.

You can also donate directly to WildEarth Guardians, as we are taking both legislative and legal strategies to end the government's war on wildlife.

Update #3

coyote

Facts and figures

Nearly 84,000 coyotes were killed by the USDA's Wildlife Services in 2011 at the behest of agribusiness, ranchers and hunters.

Scientists have discovered that coyotes in lethally controlled populations actually increase breeding, have larger litter sizes, which can increase their populations. Not only is the killing a travesty, but the agency is literally wasting not only coyotes, but taxpayer's hard-earned money as well.

The agency employs an arsenal of lethal killing devices for all 4 million animals they kill annually.

Wildlife Services shoots wildlife from aircraft--a practice called "aerial gunning."  It garrotes animals on land and in the water with cruel traps and snares. It strangles thousands of "target" beavers and accidentally catches hundreds of river otters. The agency broadcasts a panoply of lethal toxicants—from cyanide to strychnine—making our wild landscapes a minefield for any wide ranging animal, including black birds, ravens, coyotes, wolves, wolverines, prairie dogs, and bears. It hounds coyotes, mountain lions and bears with dogs, and then shoots them.  Wildlife Services dynamites beaver lodges and dams. Wildlife Services goes to extreme lengths to kill and kill and kill.

Let's end the government's war on wildlife. Let's defund Wildlife Services, continue to spread the word about this secretive and unnecessary federal agency.

For the Wild,
WildEarth Guardians

Update #2

otters

Facts and figures

"The misnamed Wildlife Services is a carpet bomber of the West because of the scale of indiscriminate killing of native wildlife," said Jim Baca, former director of the Bureau of Land Management in the 1990s. "If Congress is serious about saving money, this is where they should start."

Wildlife Services reported it killed nearly 1,400 house cats, more than 400 domestic dogs, 14 American white pelicans, and 2,983 meadowlarks in FY 2011.

The also killed 552 river otters, as bycatch to the beaver traps that killed close to 28,000 beavers!

See all the reported creatures killed by Wildlife Services in 2011, by species and state.

Its time to end the government's taxpayer-funded war of wildlife!

Update #1

beaver

Facts and figures

The United States Department of Agriculture's wildlife killing agency cruelly snuffed-out nearly 28,000 beavers by trapping, shooting, strangling and drowning them. Beavers from Arkansas to Wyoming, and all points in between were grossly killed on behalf of agribusiness and cities competing for resources.

A list of the nearly 4 million animals destroyed listed by species and state is available here.

You can help end the government's war on wildlife by educating your friends and family, and by sending written editorials to your local paper to further educate the public on the species being killed in your area and throughout the U.S.

Thank you for your efforts to defund this atrocious agency.