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Last login: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I was disappointed to hear Mr. Davis continue to mislead and misrepresent the role of Wildlife Services in the management of natural resources and to hear Ms. Cavanaugh has also not done her homework. In San Diego County, the majority of the animals taken by this agency are removed to protect Threatened and Endangered Species or to prevent bird air strikes - not the "very small fraction" indicated by the host. The agency has been critical to the recovery of the California Least Tern in San Diego and throughout California. Mr. Davis has repeated a figure of 18,000 animals removed by WS over the course of 11 years - which averages out to 1,700/year - a less dramatic figure. In a recently reported hunting harvest for San Diego County more than 50,000 animals were taken in a single year. Many of the animals removed by WS are rodents and/or species not covered under licensed hunting practices and can be removed without accountability by private citizens and commercial pest control operators so WS numbers represent an even smaller percentage of the animals taken by hunters.
Coots are not ducks, they are not even closely related. They can be hunted legally in San Diego County and in the recent DFG "harvest" report more than 900 were taken in that year while those taken by WS averaged fewer than 300 - 900 for sport, 200 some to prevent property damage.
Project Wildlife took in more than 9,000 animals in 2010 and less than half could be released. Based on 2007 figures the breakdown of sources of wildlife injury showed that more than 50% of the wildlife injuries were the result of domestic pets (cats 40%+ and dogs 15%+). Almost 13% were injured by cars and more than 11% flew into windows. These causes of take aren't legally controlled and their reporting isn't mandated. And these are but a few of the sources of wildlife mortality that are not monitored or regulated.
Wildlife Services complies with all environmental laws. Among those, their removal of birds is done under the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird office which sets annual take figures and issues annual depredation permits or by the State of California Department of Fish and Game which issues scientific collecting permits.
As someone who has worked with endangered wildlife for many years and seen the benefits of the efforts of Wildlife Services I can also see that Mr. Davis has not shown any inclination to provide objective reporting. And neither VOSD or KPBS has done a good job of evaluating and editing what is being presented as news. All have done the community a disservice by not recognizing that It is not Wildlife Services who are killing too many animals. With all due deference to Pogo - "It is us"
August 21, 2012 at 1:39 p.m.
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