B.C.’s approach to wildlife management needs major ethical reform

Kyle Artelle, Paul Paquet, Faisal Moola, Chris Genovali, and Chris Darimont are scientists and writers at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Kyle Artelle, Paul Paquet, and Chris Darimont are also at the University of Victoria, and Faisal Moola is also at the University of Guelph

British Columbia has begun an ambitious effort to review the province’s approach to managing wildlife, with $14-million committed so far. The province’s interest in reform is encouraging. As explained in a letter we recently published in the journal Science, this endeavour and its justification are laudable, and if done properly, have the potential for making B.C. a continental leader in wildlife management. Whether this happens, however, will depend largely on whether the reform embraces principles of science honestly and openly, while involving the varied interests of all citizens, rather than only consumptive users (hunters and trappers).

British Columbia is blessed with a remarkable diversity of wildlife. Many of the 3,800 known plant and animal species in B.C. live only here. The province is also critical for winged migrations that extend over thousands of kilometres. Unlike most places in North America, B.C. has additionally retained all of the large land animals that were present at the time of European colonization, including grizzly bears, wolves, caribou and cougars, making it among the last havens for the large animals left on the continent.

A sub-adult grizzly bear chases down a salmon near Klemtu, B.C. (File Photo).


However, many might be surprised to learn that instead of the management of this wildlife being primarily focused on conservation of species and the ecosystems on which they depend, in B.C., as across much of North America, the focus is typically on the management of wildlife to allow for sustained exploitation by hunters and trappers.

This consumptive focus can overshadow broader concerns about wildlife, including ethical considerations. Although there are clearly ethical considerations in any decisions about the environment, wildlife management is one of the few fields for which ethics remain notably absent. This stands in contrast with other areas of public policy, such as criminal justice and health care, where the recognition of ethics is foundational. Such consideration has led to better outcomes, such as improved well-being of those affected by policy decisions.

The scale of wildlife exploitation can be difficult to comprehend. Although hunting and trapping might evoke visions of traditional, low-scale and low-impact endeavours, both undertakings currently comprise an enormous extractive activity: For many wildlife species, humans kill more adults than all other predators combined.

Given this reality, one might hope that wildlife management would have considerable oversight and rigour to protect against potential negative impacts on wildlife populations. And wildlife managers across North America usually do claim a scientific foundation for their activities. However, recent research in the journal Science Advances found that key hallmarks of science are often missing in management of species across North America. For example, of the 667 management systems that study examined, only 26 per cent had measurable objectives, only 11 per cent explained how hunting quotas or limits were set and only 9 per cent were subject to external review.

To reform management so that science can honestly and credibly support policy decisions will require incorporating key hallmarks of science: 1) Clear objectives are needed for the public to understand what government wildlife managers are trying to achieve. These objectives need to be clear enough to allow assessment of whether they have been met, and their ethical basis needs to be clearly described; 2) Strong evidence is needed to ensure that well-informed decisions are made. In cases with weak evidence, strong caution is warranted; 3) Full transparency to the public is required in how wildlife is managed, including how the funding the public provides for management is used, and; 4) External scrutiny, whereby independentbodies (that is, individuals who are neither part of government, appointed by government, nor too closely affiliated to be unbiased) scrutinize the approach used by government, to ensure approaches used are credible.

The B.C. government recently made the courageous decision to end the province’s ethically questionable, controversial and scientifically suspect grizzly bear trophy hunt, a decision that government leaders acknowledged was partly in response to changing societal values about wildlife management. These included considerations of cultural and other non-lethal values and activities, such as wildlife viewing. The current review of provincial wildlife management provides a tremendous opportunity to further demonstrate leadership for the province and the continent, by addressing the critical need for broader wildlife policy reform that is informed by science and reflective of societal attitudes and desires, including ethical concerns in wildlife management.

One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life

Beijing smog
A paramilitary officer in Beijing wears a mask after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in 2016.
 Jason Lee/Reuters
  • The planet is running out of resources, HSBC warned in a new note.
  • Earth Overshoot Day — the point in a year at which our demand for natural resources exceeds what the planet can renew — occurred on August 1, just seven months into 2018.
  • HSBC said companies and governments are not “adequately prepared” for climate effects.

One of the world’s largest banks says the planet is running out of resources and warns that neither governments nor companies are prepared for climate change.

The world spent its entire natural resource budget for the year by August 1, a group of analysts at HSBC said in a note that cited research from the Global Footprint Network (GFN).

That means that the world’s citizens used up all the planet’s resources for the year in just seven months, according to GFN’s analysis.

“In our opinion, these findings and events show that many businesses and governments are not adequately prepared for climate impacts, nor are they using natural resources efficiently,” the HSBC analysts said in the note.

Many banks and asset managers have started factoring climate risks into their decision-making — a move spurred in part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But it’s far less common to see multinational banks sound the alarm about climate change so explicitly in their equity research.

To calculate Earth’s natural resource budget, GFN considers the demand for natural resources — which includes food, forests, and marine products — as well as humans’ effects on the environment from factors like carbon emissions. The combined total is designed give a comprehensive picture of humanity’s global footprint.

Earth Overshoot Day , the point in a year at which we use up a year’s worth of resources, has been steadily moving forward in time since GFN first started tracking it. In 1970, we “overshot” Earth’s resource budget by only 2 days — Overshoot Day fell on December 29, according to HSBC. That date has been pushed up by almost five months since then.

HSBC’s note also warned about extreme events resulting from heat, including the wildfires in Scandinavia and broken temperature records around the world.

“As scientists work on attribution analysis for specific events — the general consensus is that climate change is making these events more likely to occur and more severe,” HSBC said.

The predicted effects of climate change are starting to become real.Wildfires have torn through California in recent years, and they’re part of a worsening trend related to rising global temperatures. Other consequences include increased frequency of hurricanes and flooding, melting ice sheets , and greater numbers of heat waves .

Recent studies have shown that global temperatures by the year 2100 could be up to 15% higher than the highest projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

According to HSBC, extreme events have severe economic and social costs.

“In our view, adaptation will move further up the agenda with a growing focus on the social consequences,” the analysts said.

SEE ALSO: On August 1, we’ll have consumed more resources than the Earth can regenerate in a year — here’s how you can reduce your ecological footprint

More: HSBC Climate Change Earth Overshoot Day Environment

Proposed wildlife management plans alarm BC’s naturalists

April 13, 2017

Press release from BC Nature – for immediate release

Nature-lovers across BC are expressing concern over a proposed new method for managing wildlife in the province. Speaking on behalf of BC Nature, the federation of naturalist clubs across BC, president Dr. Alan Burger said “Our members are alarmed by recent statements by government ministers indicating that wildlife management might be handed over to an external agency supported by special interest groups, specifically hunters and guide- outfitters”. This model of wildlife management will undoubtedly work against the interests of the vast majority of British Columbians, added Burger.

Recent statements by Ministers Steve Thomson (Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Management) and Bill Bennett (Energy and Mines) suggest that, if the BC Liberals win this election, much wildlife management will be handed over to an independent agency, funded in part by hunting and fishing licences. Both ministers made these statements while flanked by members of the BC Wildlife Federation, the influential hunting and fishing advocacy group. It is well known that BCWF has long been lobbying the government for a greater say in wildlife management, citing the millions of dollars paid in hunting and fishing licences as the reason for greater input.

“This proposal is flawed at several levels” stated Burger. First, the economic argument is false. Hunting and fishing licences are an important source of revenue and BC Nature agrees that there should be a greater share contributed to wildlife management. But, there is much greater input to the BC economy from the non-consumptive users of wildlife – the tourism and wildlife-watching industry, people selling binoculars, camera gear, field guides, outdoor gear etc. and, most importantly, the vast majority of British Columbians that spend money traveling and camping to simply enjoy seeing animals alive in the wild.

BC has not undertaken research recently to investigate the economic benefits of wildlife- watching, but in neighbouring Washington the research shows that wildlife-watching contributes five times the economic benefit ($1.5 billion) that hunting does. A study in 2006 by the US Fish and Wildlife found that over 71 million Americans spent nearly $45 billion on retail sales while observing, feeding or watching wildlife in the US. Canadians are likely to spend even more per capita. Wildlife viewing is a growing business and BC is becoming a world-class destination for this highly sustainable activity.

Second, the proposed method for implementing wildlife management is flawed. There is no doubt that much more money is needed to enhance wildlife and ecosystem management, secure critical habitat and deal with the increasing impacts of industrial and human footprints in our province. Habitat loss, in particular, is a huge issue across many ecosystems in B.C. But this needs to be done by government and not through some external agency, which might be heavily biased towards consumptive users of wildlife. The B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch and related departments within the provincial government have a long and proud history of serving the people of this province. They haven’t always made the right decisions and their hands are often tied by the political goals of the ruling party, but

they are professional, accountable to the electorate, can bring in expertise and resources from other government departments and outside consultants, and remain independent of powerful lobby-groups like the BCWF. “This new proposal verges on privatization of our wildlife management” said Burger.

Proponents of this new wildlife management plan indicate that it will follow the model of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, which currently manages recreational fishing as well as freshwater hatcheries in B.C. “There is a fundamental difference between recreational fishing and terrestrial wildlife management”, continued Burger, who taught wildlife ecology at UVic for many years, “Wildlife, like mammals and birds, is enjoyed for many more reasons and in a much wider range of habitats and locations, than the fish taken by recreational fishing. One cannot equate the two management scenarios”.

Third, the words of the two ministers and the enthusiastic endorsement of the hunting lobby indicates that there is a very real risk of wildlife management in BC being more narrowly focused on big game. This is a retrograde step, because the BC government has been slowly moving towards a more scientifically sound ecosystem-based approach, giving appropriate value to the 99% of organisms that are not game animals. This proposal pulls out one component of our ecosystems (big game) and plans to manage it separately. Nature is not compartmentalized. We cannot manage one aspect of the system in isolation.

Finally, it appears that only the hunting-fishing lobby was consulted on this proposal. The ministers’ announcements came as a complete surprise to BC Nature. There is also no evidence that the tourism and wildlife-watching industries, First Nations or the general wildlife-enjoying public was consulted.

People who enjoy viewing wildlife and who endorse a broad ecological approach to managing our province will be watching closely to see where this proposal goes. “It will be good to see wildlife management become an election issue” concluded Burger, “It has been a neglected topic by all major political parties for too long. But this new proposal by the current government is clearly not in the interests of the BC public and seems to serve only a narrow interest-group”.

For further information contact:

Alan Burger – president BC Nature (Federation of BC Naturalists)


by Rosemary Lowe
Teddy Roosevelt (remember him, the Trophy Hunter?), founded the infamous Boone & Crockett Club (Wolf Killer, Aldo Leopold was also a member). From both of these serial animal killers, came the Game Management Ideology–which is the bible for State and Federal Wildlife (Game) agencies—and too often, wildlife groups which claim to “defend” wildlife.
 And, what does this Humanist “game” ideology preach, that makes it so popular and supported by so-called “wildlife” groups like Defenders? It preaches the idea that wild animals are something to be used, within “sustainable levels” by humans–for hunting/trapping, viewing, and otherwise getting some kind of human satisfaction. Some wildlife groups, then, can take the easier road of compromise and collaboration with the enemies of wildlife, (hunters/trappers/ranchers), by “working with them to help wildlife.”
 This hunter-conservation/game management nonsense permeates every agency that deals in anyway with wild animals. It is designed to “conserve” populations to a point where they can be killed, and to manipulate such populations to artificially create more animals to be “used” (i.e., hunted, trapped, etc.)  Because this management model is all about manipulation of species and habitat for human use, certain populations are increased so they may provide animal killers (hunters), with targets, such as deer, elk, caribou, ducks, geese, etc. It  is all about species/habitat manipulation, that so-called “predators” such as wolves, coyotes, bears, wolverines, beavers, foxes, bobcat, mountain lion & other species considered “nuisance animals” must be “controlled,” under this barbaric, anti-wildlife system. 
 Millions of wild animals each year are caught & slaughtered in this “Game Management Trap,” which few people understand or oppose. As long as this system continues, no wild species will be able to live in peace. The livestock industry is also part of this system, and this industry demands that wild animals be controlled (trapped, poisoned, shot, burned out of dens, etc.), so Domestic Livestock can graze on National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, wilderness areas & other public lands.  Most wildlife groups appear to be afraid of the livestock special interests, bending over backwards to appease them by sanctioning coyote/wolf hazing techniques and grazing permit buyouts, which only seems to embolden the wildlife killers.
This massive wildlife slaughter is taking a terrible toll on all wild species around the planet.  Now add to this, uncontrolled human population & increasing climate changes, which are killing habitat, food & water sources for non-human beings. Extinction will be Forever!  Why are wild species and wild habitat so important? Its about Biodiversity, wild things (flora and fauna) that are intertwined in the Life Support System of this planet: without The Wild,  all life dies. The Earth can do just fine without Homo sapiens. But, without wild species–down to the most simple bacteria in the soils, air & oceans–nothing will survive. 
As long as wildlife groups like Defenders and others continue to shamefully  follow the game management philosophy of Leopold and Teddy Roosevelt, wild animal populations will be harassed, maimed, and killed, to appease special interests like hunter/trappers, ranchers. 
So, what are all you sell-out wildlife groups going to do now?  Compromise even more with a new, more virulent anti-environmental/wildlife president and congress?
copyrighted wolf in water

Killing of Coyotes in Laurelhurst‏


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Coyote Challenge

To my readers,

I was extremely disappointed to learn that three coyotes were killed last week, near Union Bay, in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Historically, humanity’s fear and ignorance of wild creatures has often led to killing and extermination. My fear is, if we do not learn to coexist with wild creatures then future generations will live in a dismal world of crows, concrete and mechanical contraptions. 
My personal goal is to promote harmony between nature and humanity, specifically around Union Bay which includes the Laurelhurst area. My blog about nature-in-the-city is called, Union Bay Watch. I believe that if we pay attention to wildlife, and treat wild creatures intelligently, we can find ways to coexist. 
A few weeks ago, I met one of the adult coyotes on the trail in the Union Bay Natural Area. Given the time of the year and because the coyote was out and about at mid-day, I suspect it was looking for food for its young. The coyote turned and fled into the brush as I approached. A perfectly acceptable response from a truly wild creature.
Because of my blog and my local interactions, I have talked with many different people who have seen the coyotes. No one who I spoke with mentioned any aggressive behavior. I truly believe the majority of the local people have been excited and happy to have coyotes as neighbors. I hope we can all agree that killing wild creatures should be a last resort.
The information I have read and the reaction from the neighbors causes me to seriously question whether extermination was warranted. The only justification I can find for the killing is, as reported on King5 NewsWildlife services received a request to assist in the management of several coyotes near the Laurelhurst neighborhood in Seattle. The coyotes had become increasingly aggressive towards people and pets in the area.
This statement leaves a lot to the imagination. I admit I do not know the details. I can however make a couple of logical assumptions given the information provided.
a) Since no injuries to humans were reported, I suspect the coyotes did not injure anyone.
b) Since no injuries to pets were noted, I suspect the coyotes did not injure any pets, either.
If the coyotes did not injure any humans or their pets then I wonder, What exactly did they do? What does “increasingly aggressive” really mean? 
Does it mean that in the Spring, with young to feed, the coyotes were being seen more often during the day, because their normal nocturnal hunting was not sufficient? Does it mean that the coyotes chased someone’s cat up a tree? Does it mean that they growled at an off-leash dog that came near their den? Does it mean that the coyotes came into to someone’s yard because the owner left pet food or open garbage outside? All of these fictional examples could be resolved with human education. It makes me wonder if the actual situation could have also been resolved with community guidance and instruction.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides an extensive online resource entitled, Living with Wildlife. The highlighted link goes directly to the specific portion of the site related to coyotes. The site lists many non-lethal options.
Our Canadian friends propose a simple three-step process for learning to deal with coyotes. The Stanley Park Ecological Society says, “1) Be Big, Brave and Loud. 2) Never Feed. 3) Spread the Word.” They have additional links and information on their site, Co-existing with Coyotes. Please note that they even have an educational program for K-7 students. If our northern neighbors can teach their kindergarten students how to safely encounter coyotes I suspect we should be able to do the same. 
Was education given a fair chance? I have read nothing which implies that the folks in Laurelhurst were provided instruction on how to co-exist with coyotes. The next time your organization is contacted to resolved an issue with coyotes, I sincerely hope you will ensure that the community as a whole gets to participate in the process and that the educational alternatives are fully exhausted.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this issue.
Larry Hubbell

Update to Readers:

Does anyone happen to have a photo of the coyotes they would be willing to share?

Thank you to Doug Parrott for sharing his coyote photo taken on June 26th at the Union Bay Natural Area.

More Updates:

From the folks at The Laurelhurst Blog.

Here is the post the Laurelhurst Blog did on Friday about the killings:



Update July 4th 2016

Born Free calls for independent Presidential inquiry and a permanent halt to the killing.

Two thousand of Africa’s increasingly rare hippo, living in the wildlife haven of Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, face the renewed threat of terror and death, following a meeting held in Lusaka on Wednesday 22nd June.

Will Travers OBE, President and CEO of Born Free Foundation, stated: “Leaving aside the moral and ethical arguments and Born Free’s consistent opposition to culling, we are asking for urgent clarification on a number of key issues and the publication of all scientific evidence that might support such drastic measures.”

International and Zambian opposition to the cull has been widely reported in the media.

A temporary suspension of the cull, announced on 14th June, was, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), to allow for “extensive consultation”. However, following the brief meeting in Lusaka on Wednesday 22nd June it now appears the hiatus is over and the cull is set to resume.

This “invitation only” meeting was called by Stephen Mwansa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism & Arts, and Paul Zyambo, Director of DNPW. The company contracted by DNPW to carry out the cull, Mabwe Adventures, was in attendance, along with only one local stakeholder, the Luangwa Safari Association – representing safari camps and lodges in South Luangwa National Park.

Information from Zambia indicates that DNPW is now poised to push ahead with the cull of 2,000 hippos over five years using paying trophy hunters, as was recently promoted on Theo De Marillac Safaris’ website.

Why this decision has been taken, and on what basis, remains shrouded in secrecy. In light of this, Born Free Foundation wrote to the President of Zambia, His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on 27th June, requesting the cull be abandoned and that key information pertaining to DNPW’s justifications for the cull to be made publically available. To date, no response has been forthcoming.
Born Free Foundation, together with other wildlife conservation and animal protection organisations, believe that five critical issues still need to be addressed:

  1. DNPW has, to date, failed to provide robust, scientific evidence demonstrating that there is an overpopulation of hippos in the Luangwa River, or to make public the Government of the Republic of Zambia report that they have cited in their justification
  2. DNPW has failed to provide robust, scientific evidence clearly demonstrating that previous hippo culls in the Luangwa Valley have been successful in reducing the population over the long-term and that the culling methodology that has been proposed – targeting whole pods of hippos in the water – is humane
  3. DNPW has failed to provide rainfall and river level data showing that river levels and water flow in the Luangwa River are abnormally low and cannot sustain the current hippo population
  4. DNPW has failed to provide credible, scientific evidence to show that such an indiscriminate hippo cull would prevent a future outbreak of anthrax – not prevent the spread of an existing outbreak – as there isn’t one
  5. DNPW has failed to provide categorical evidence that an approved and transparent tendering process took place in awarding the culling contract to Mabwe Adventures, of which an ex-Zambia Wildlife Authority employee, Flavian Mupemo, is a shareholder and beneficiary.

Given the highly contentious nature of culling; the unanswered questions raised above; the possible conflict of interest; and the concerns about the lack of transparency of the tendering process, Born Free Foundation is calling for the planned cull to be abandoned and for the matter to be investigated at the highest possible level by an independent inquiry, established under the auspices of The Office of The President.

Travers added: “The longer these vitally important issues go unanswered, the more the authorities come up with different and, as yet, unsubstantiated justifications for the cull, the more Zambia – one of Africa’s great wildlife strongholds – will suffer lasting reputational and potentially economic damage. The independent inquiry, called for by Born Free, seems to me the only way to establish the truth and determine whether any of the claimed justifications for the cull – a measure which could see 2,000 wild hippo lose their lives – can withstand the scrutiny they deserve.”

What You Can Do

Please contact Zambia’s President and Minister of Tourism politely calling for this ‘temporary’ halt to be permananet.

Please write to:

His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu
President of Zambia
State House
PO Box 30135

Email: lunguedgar@gmail.com

Stephen Mwansa

Permanent Secretary

Ministry of Tourism & Arts

National Assembly of Zambia

Parliament Buildings

Parliament Road

PO Box 30575.




Start both letters ‘Your Excellency’ and sign off both ‘Yours respectfully and sincerely’.

Thank you.

Or see our latest emergency activate campaign

Luangwa River

Save Andy the Polar Bear

Jill Kjonso
Fort Lauderdale, FL


A polar bear named Andy is in trouble, and he needs our help. When he was not yet full-grown, Andy was fitted with a tracking collar by researchers. As he has grown, the collar has malfunctioned — it stopped transmitting a signal, and, last month, a photographer captured a photo of Andy with evident trauma around his neck from the extremely tight collar with a  release mechanism that has clearly failed. Andy’s life is at risk.

US and Canadian authorities were alerted to Andy’s situation, but so far no one is taking action or claiming responsibility for the collaring. Evidence suggests that it was likely the University of Alberta that placed the collar on Andy, yet all they have said in response to recent public pressure to help him is “options to find the bear are being examined.”

Time is running out, and we need to take real action. We are calling on the University of Alberta to immediately institute an active search for Andy, so they can remove the collar and provide all necessary treatment to ensure his well-being.

Locals in the area of Alaska where Andy was last seen have complained about polar bears with too-tight collars for years. Complications from collaring occur far too often, as the collaring process involves stressful chases, harmful sedation, and sometimes causes death. Collaring of polar bears is invasive and dangerous and there are simply far too few of this majestic species left to play with their lives.

It is true that Andy is just one polar bear, and scientists may see his plight as “collateral damage” in the interest of research for the good of all polar bears. But there is no justification for his strangulation, and research institutes that endeavor to capture and collar threatened species must be held responsible for their health and well-being.

In the meantime, the University of Alberta must use their resources to track Andy, remove the collar, and get him the medical attention he needs. Adding your voice to this petition will let them know that we are holding them accountable for Andy’s well-being, and that we will accept nothing short of immediate action.

If you would like to voice your concern for Andy, please contact the Executive Director of the Research and Ethics Office, Susan Babcock and Professor Andrew Derocher:                        susan.babcock@ualberta.ca                                        derocher@ualberta.ca


Letter to
University of Alberta
Andrew Derocher
Read more 

</a></div></div>” data-tolerance=”20″ data-_block=”A polar bear named Andy is in trouble, and he needs our help. When he was not yet full-grown, Andy was fitted with a tracking collar by researchers. As he has grown, the collar has malfunctioned — it stopped transmitting a signal, and, last month, a photographer captured a photo of Andy with evident trauma around his neck from the extremely tight collar with a release mechanism that has clearly failed. Andy’s life is at risk.<br />US and Canadian authorities were alerted to Andy’s situation, but so far no one is taking action or claiming responsibility for the collaring. Evidence suggests that it was likely the University of Alberta that placed the collar on Andy, yet all they have said in response to recent public pressure to help him is “options to find the bear are being examined.” <br />Time is running out, and we need to take real action. We are calling on the University of Alberta to immediately institute an active search for Andy, so they can remove the collar and provide all necessary treatment to ensure his well-being.<br />Locals in the area of Alaska where Andy was last seen have complained about polar bears with too-tight collars for years. Complications from collaring occur far too often, as the collaring process involves stressful chases, harmful sedation, and sometimes causes death. Collaring of polar bears should only be done when absolutely necessary, as it is invasive and dangerous, and there are simply far too few of this majestic species left to play with their lives. <br />It is true that Andy is just one polar bear, and scientists may see his plight as “collateral damage” in the interest of research for the good of all polar bears. But there is no justification for his strangulation, and research institutes that endeavor to capture and collar threatened species must be held responsible for their health and well-being.<br />In the meantime, the University of Alberta must use their resources to track Andy, remove the collar, and get him the medical attention he needs. Adding your voice to this petition will let them know that we are holding them accountable for Andy’s well-being, and that we will accept nothing short of immediate action.”>A polar bear named Andy is in trouble, and he needs our help. When he was not yet full-grown, Andy was fitted with a tracking collar by researchers. As he has grown, the collar has malfunctioned — it stopped transmitting a signal, and, last month, a photographer captured a photo of Andy with evident

Read more 


Award-winning film exposing America’s secret war on wildlife coming to Idaho, the biggest wolf-killing state

Oct. 5, 2015

Brooks Fahy
Executive Director
(541) 520-6003
Jane Goodall wants millions to hear government agents blow the whistle in “EXPOSED: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife.” Idaho is Ground Zero for wildlife-killing in America, especially wolves.
– Screenings Oct. 12-16 in Coeur d’Alene, Moscow, Boise and Pocatello | See schedule
EUGENE, OR – An award-winning wildlife documentary that Jane Goodall wants millions to see is coming to Idaho, the biggest wolf-killing state in the nation. Idaho also has a reputation as a veritable playground for hunters, trappers and federal agents, who slaughter hundreds of thousands of wild animals unnecessarily there each year.

The film, EXPOSED: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife, features three former federal agents and a prominent Congressman blowing the whistle on a barbaric and wasteful wildlife management program within the USDA called “Wildlife Services.” Every year agents from this program kill millions of animals across the nation. They are highly active in Idaho, and their methods-which are taxpayer funded-ignore science, harm humans, and kill pets and endangered species.

Idaho earned its reputation as the country’s biggest wolf-killing state by slaughtering close to 2,000 gray wolves since 2011, when they lost federal endangered species protection and management was turned over to state wildlife agencies. Idaho has even allowed Wildlife Services agents to gun down wolves from helicopters over the “Lolo Zone,” a prime wolf habitat in the North-Central part of the state. The Lolo Zone features some of the most rugged and beautiful public wildlands in the Lower 48. Idaho’s stated goal is to reduce their wolf population to 150, a scientifically disastrous objective that destroys the positive effect apex predators have on ecosystems and the biodiversity they foster.

Wildlife Services is charged with taking out any threat to livestock-real or alleged. This killing is done largely for the benefit of private individuals who don’t take responsibility for protecting their animals.
The whistle-blowers in the film “EXPOSED” reveal deeply entrenched problems within this federal agency, not the least of which is lack of accountability with federal funds. Another problem is Wildlife Services’ obstinacy in ignoring science, which clearly shows the exponentially accelerating ecological damage caused by killing off predator species.

But the biggest outcry is about the inhumane and indiscriminate methods the agents use-traps, snares, aerial gunning and poisons. Ironically, these devices often pose a greater risk than the very wild animals they purport to control. Many proven nonlethal alternatives that minimize conflicts with wild animals are available, but Wildlife Services does not require landowners to use them before their trappers apply lethal force.

To date, countless people and pets have suffered injury and death due to negligent use of traps and poisons. And while Wildlife Services’ own directives require agents to post warnings to alert the public, they often don’t post them. When they do, the signs are only marginally effective, as animals and young children don’t understand them.

Wildlife Services has been publicly condemned by Jane Goodall, PH.D., DBE, who said “I hope EXPOSED will be watched by millions, so Americans will learn of the unforgivable actions of those who have exercised their power to cause untold agony to thousands of innocent fellow creatures on our planet.” The agency has also been excoriated by The Humane Society of the United States, the American Society of Mammalogists, and many other credible organizations and individuals.
“EXPOSED” won Best Short Film at the 2015 Animal Film Festival and Best Wildlife Activism at the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.

Screenings will be held in four cities and will be followed by an audience question and answer session with film co-producer/director Brooks Fahy. The events are being sponsored by Predator Defense, Friends of the Clearwater, Advocates for the West, Western Watersheds Project, and the Kootenai Environmental Alliance.

schedule“EXPOSED” Screening Schedule

Monday, October 12, 6 p.m.
Coeur d’Alene Library Community Room
702 E. Front Ave.
Tuesday, October 13, 7 p.m.
1912 Center, Great Room
412 E. Third St.
Thursday, October 15, 4 p.m.
4:00 p.m., Boise State University
Student Union Building, Lookout Room
Thursday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.
The Flicks, 646 W. Fulton St, Boise
$5 at door
Friday, October 16, 7 p.m.
Idaho State University
Student Union Building, POND Wood River Room
$5 at door
#  #  #

About Predator Defense
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D.C. screening of “EXPOSED” a huge success



I’m thrilled to report that we had a standing-room-only crowd in D.C. on Monday at the Congressional screening and briefing of our whistle-blowing film, “EXPOSED: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife.” According to lobbyists who know, this kind of turnout for a briefing of this sort is unprecedented.

At least 80 of the people in the room were staffers for members of Congress. And we got significant interest from a well-connected Senate staffer who wants to bring “EXPOSED” to the administration’s attention.

When introducing the film we made sure to frame it as not being a Democrat or Republican issue. We let them know it is actually a public safety issue, a financial transparency issue, a legal issue, a ecological issue, and an animal cruelty issue. They seemed to get it. We are optimistic that Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) will be introducing a bill in the next several weeks.

Thank you to those of you who contacted your Congresspeople and asked that they attend this event. It worked. Now we move forward with more screenings of “EXPOSED” around the country and, we hope, legislation to reform Wildlife Services will be introduced very soon.  We will keep you posted.

We extend a special thanks to our event co-sponsors, without which it would not have happened: Representative Peter DeFazio, the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, the Animal Welfare Institute, Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

If you’re interested in having a screening of “EXPOSED” in your area please contact me. And if you’d like to see photos from the D.C. screening, visit our Facebook page by clicking on the icon below.

Brooks Fahy
Executive Director
(541) 937-4261 Office
(541) 520-6003 Cell

Helping people & wildlife coexist since 1990
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“Something is Askew Here”

The following is from Preface of the late Canadian naturalist, author and part-time misanthropist, John A. Livingston’s, book, Rouge Primate: “Having spent the greater part of a lifetime absorbed in the appreciation and the attempted understanding of living phenomena that are not human, while at the same time ceaselessly advocating their protection, preservation and ‘conservation,’ it was not easy to pause and evaluate the effectiveness—and logic—of that advocacy…But for my own peace of mind it needed doing. So in 1977 I did a critical analysis and wrote it up, then looked at what I had wrought for almost four years before publishing it. It was going to cost me, and it did.

“At the time of its publication, the American environmental teacher and essayist Joseph Meeker observed that my Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation appeared to be a book written in blood. It was indeed painful to have to acknowledge that the fundamental premises of the conventional conservation argument to which I had long adhered were radically flawed. It was even more painful to discover that rather than alleviating the parlous circumstances of the nonhuman world, the conventional conservation argument actually makes those circumstances worse. In that book I characterized customary wildlife conservation advocacy as a ‘catechism’ that I for one had been uncritically mouthing for too long.

“In a nutshell, the fallacy is the generally unchallenged belief that wild, undomesticated plants and animals and their communities can be enabled to survive the human presence on Earth by means of their careful safekeeping within the rational, managerial framework of ‘resource conservation.’ The belief is fallacious because to see any phenomenon as a ‘resource’ is to see it as a human utility or amenity. Such perception precludes the possibility of a non-quantifiable worth residing in that phenomenon—even to itself. Its value becomes purely instrumental. If such value cannot be shown, and in practice even if it can, the nonhuman is permitted to continue to exist solely at the human pleasure. Since resource conservation does not allow worth (to itself) to inhere in Nature, it can protect Nature only as the human estate, in which case it is no longer ‘Nature’ but rather an extension of the human apparatus. However argued or presented, resource conservation is a wholly proprietary, human-chauvinist concept.

“Here I mean resource conservation not as practice or policy, but as an idea. As such it requires the prior perception of the nonhuman world, and our relationship with it, in a very particular way. For any living being to be able to see other living beings as commodities or utilities would strike any naturalist as anomalous, even bizarre. Could it be possible for any nonhuman entity to see the world as its exclusive property, its vested estate, its heritage, its right and privilege, its fief? Surely not. But, the human animal does just that. Something is askew here.”

Meanwhile, from Livingston’s book Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation:243

“Entirely out of control, the techno machine guzzles and lurches and vomits and rips its random crazy course over the once-blue planet, as though some filthy barbaric fist drunkenly swiping with a gigantic paint roller across an ancient tapestry.

“Unevenness in the rich textured nap of Earth’s surface causes the paint to cling slightly unevenly, with scattered spots and holes showing in the roller’s wake. These are the success stories. Isolated and discreet as they are, it’s quite possible that they can never recombine into a coherent whole.

“We are left with a miscellaneous rag-tag assortment of odd and disconnected relics—some larger, some smaller. In general, these gaps or anomalies tend to be in ‘frontier’ regions (arctic, rainforest), or in the great biological near-desert that is the open ocean. But the mindless machine has long since outgrown all restraint; the paint roller’s anti-biotic lacquer is thick, and fluid. If you watch, you can see its viscous pools widen as though of their own volition, toward the farthest reaches of life’s lovely tapestry.

“Wildlife communities are richer, in numbers of species, in equatorial regions than in higher latitudes. The greatest number of endangered species in the world today live in the tropics and sub-tropics. In underprivileged overpopulated countries I see no glimmer of hope for wildlife. It is simply too much to expect, for an entire catalog of reasons, that the care and maintenance of wildlife could possibly rise on the list of priorities (including accelerated industrial expansion) that exists in the tropics today. We should remember that there is little or no preservation tradition in most such places, in any event, and to think that such tradition could spring forth fully developed in the face of current events would be to abdicate common sense altogether. The human orgy has exactly one conceivable outcome for those species that are (a) edible, or (b) compete with man for food, or(c) compete with man for space. Perhaps this will change one day, but not soon. In the meantime, losses will have been colossal and extinctions will have been many. Extinctions without replacement—ever.

DSC_0145“On the other hand, there are place in the world that are not yet populated toward the point of ignition. There are some spots not yet painted over, not yet obliterated. In spite of their technical grotesqueness, some of the hypermanaged western nations still have options having to do with open space, natural areas, living nonhuman beings. But even there, we have to admit the udder failure of wildlife conservation either as a practice or an ethos to penetrate the general consciousness. The acceleration of wildlife extermination is remorseless, even in the ‘civilized’ world—perhaps especially there. There is a general almost total failure to grasp the notion of wildlife conservation.

“Here I mean societies such as the one I live in, where one might expect the cultural environment for the notion to be wholly favorable. Places where the ‘haves’ live. I do not, by the way, mean regions or nations influenced or dominated by French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish traditions, which have never been favorable for wildlife or its protection. On the evidence, wildlife seems to hold its own in ‘have’ cultures deriving from northern Europe, including Britain, poorest in those deriving from southern Europe. The implications of this must surely be obvious to all but the most doggedly unobservant.

“The worst prospect for wildlife is in those countries where human population increase is out of control and/or those that have inherited the romance traditions. And political ideologies have nothing to do with it. When you think about this, it dawns that ownership of the means of production and locus of the distribution of profits are entirely irrelevant to wildlife conservation, as long as the goal of human activity is production. Who cares who owns the whaling fleet, the automobile factory, the petrochemical plant, the jet aircraft assembly line? Who cares where their profits go? What earthly difference does it make to wildlife? It certainly never made any difference to conservation.

“On a world basis, ‘wildlife conservation’ in its fullest and deepest meaning as ‘preservation’ simply does not exist. That is because its fullest and deepest meaning cannot be expressed in a political platform, a computer printout, an official plan, or a research report. You cannot qualify, analyze, show data, and prove it out. It’s not like that. For me, wildlife preservation is a wholly permeating life awareness that has become an unconscious part of every thought, attitude, perception. So it is too with others, many of them; but not that many. Not enough to matter.”

Definition of wildlife ‘conservation’ used by John Livingston:

“The preservation of wildlife forms and groups of forms in perpetuity, for their own sakes irrespective of any connotation of present or future human use.”