It is always heartwarming to hear the story of an animal freed from a life of suffering. This is such a story. Thanks to dedicated humanitarian Daniel Lombardi for sharing this with us,
Funnily enough the USDA’s Wildlife services seems to be content to live life in the shadow of a reputation that promotes widespread removal of animals-to the tune of millions and millions of wildlife deaths a year. Why do they allow themselves to be viewed with such contempt when they have strong academic investment in the field of non-lethal deterrents and conflict prevention? This is an area we can all get on board with and an area we should encourage them to focus their resources on.
To be fair, they only respond to removal requests at the invitation of landowners or on those occasions where public safety is at risk, such as the presence of rabid animals in residential areas or the threat of large flocks of birds around airports.
Things work according to ‘following the money’. How can we incentivize growers to invest in non-lethal deterrents rather than slaughter, which doesn’t actual solve the problem-it just delays it until the next carnivore has an opportunity to access an unprotected flock?
As traditional interest in hunting is edged out by technology and ‘virtual’ pursuits, many states are facing crises of funding. They are increasingly looking at how to secure the contributions of a broader range of citizens than just those who conserve for the opportunity to hunt animals. This is a very positive step forward and one that will require identification of complex issues and established State/consumptive user relationships. This article illustrates the extent to whichhunters willingly contribute towards their recreation. Many hunting groups are reluctant to share the interests of all the public in the management of wildlife. The system has worked well so far-for THEM. The challenge will come from the states and traditional users who would rather not see the Public Trust Doctrine extended to the entire public. Funding is the excuse for exclusiveness and also the solution for better balanced representation.
This short video helps us understand how we can learn to respect large carnivores and share our space safely when it intersects with wild-land that provides good habitat for cougars. Our families, pets and livestock depend on the decisions we make to keep them out of harms way. This story is better balanced than much of ‘panic inducing’ media coverage associated with the presence of mountain lions.
This is a thought provoking article, not only because it is published in the Oregonian, which serves a state that recently lost the battle to liberalize how mountain lions can be eliminated, but also because it draws seriously biased conclusions about states that are doing their best to coexist with wildlife.
The problem is not the wildlife per se, but how human development and expansion has threatened their habitat and caused greater opportunity for overlap. There are some schools of thought that think utilization of any unaffected landscapes is going to be the way of the future for the survival of many species. That includes suitable land even within human development. There is a crisis-a crisis of habitat and many of the states or countries cited in this article are in fact proceeding in exploratory ways to address the crisis. No, they do not have the answer, but they also do not fall back on the gun as the only solution…
Department of Natural Resources officials say residents near wolves shouldn’t panic, but should take precautions. Dan Stark, the agency’s specialist for large carnivores, said people should feed pets inside and fence yards.
“Wolves live in a lot of different places in northern Minnesota, and don’t cause problems, and people rarely have interactions with them,” Stark said. “It is just something to be aware of, and in some cases cautious about it.”