Visitor Counter

hitwebcounter web counter
Visitors Since Blog Created in March 2010

Click Below to:

Add Blog to Favorites

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

Subscribe via email to get updates

Enter your email address:

Receive New Posting Alerts

(A Maximum of One Alert Per Day)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We have reported previously about how the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAMMALOGISTS CONSERVATION COMMITTEE led by valdosta State U. Professor Dr. Brad Bergstrom seeks to reign in and reduce federal funding for the WILDLIFE SERICES division of the USDA................"The current science of trophic relationships within ecosystems indicates that it can cause a ripple effect of damage to biodiversity"--Dr. Bergstrom

Professor Leads Effort Against Federal Lethal Predator Control

VALDOSTA -- The American Society of Mammalogists' (ASM) conservation committee, led by Valdosta

 State University biology professor Dr. Bradley Bergstrom, continues an effort that has spanned over nine decades against

 excessive lethal predator control. A recent session with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services sparked

intense discussions about some of the federal agency's practices, which the society views as unscientific and partial to

certain groups. 

The session was held last month during the ASM annual meeting at Peppermill Resort Spa and Casino in Reno, Nev. The

session is the result of a position letter prepared in May by the society protesting Wildlife Services' lethal control


"We feel the agency's lethal control results in too much 'non-target' mortality affecting many species of mammals and

birds, some of them rare and even endangered," said Bergstrom, who has chaired ASM's conservation committee for the

 last five years. "They have not wholeheartedly embraced the many non-lethal methods of controlling depredation of

livestock that have proven effective in some private pilot projects and that even publications by their own research arm

have indicated are effective."

Bergstrom added that there is no proof that indicates predator removal from local areas is an effective way to manage


"The current science of trophic relationships within ecosystems indicates that it can cause a ripple effect of damage to

ecosystem function and to biodiversity"The current science of trophic relationships within ecosystems indicates that it can cause a ripple effect of damage to
ecosystem function and to biodiversity," versity," he explained. "At a minimum their killing of nearly 100,000 coyotes per year,

every year for decades, indicates the practice has no long-term effect on the perceived problem."

The society also questioned the finances of the agency, suggesting that some of its practices are motivated by requests

 from private supporters.

"We know that half the agency's funding is from 'cooperators' and not directly from congressional appropriation,"

Bergstrom said. "We would like to know what amount comes from private agribusiness. The agency is rather secretive

about what they do in the field and about who decides where
when and how many native mammals to kill. We suspect they do what their cooperators want them to do and we suspect

that much of their lethal control is done for a minority of ranchers." 

The ASM feels that any federal government agency that manages wildlife should be accountable to the lawmakers and

taxpayers and do what is in the best interest of the majority, using the best current science to guide their management. 

  "Private money may have undue influence in their management practices and decisions," said Bergstrom.

Representatives from Wildlife Services were given opportunities to defend the agency's activities during the session and

declined to share information on its financial breakdown, asserting that some information was protected under the

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The ASM is preparing to continue discussions during the Wildlife Services Advisory Committee meeting later this year

. The advisory committee opens the floor for public participation and input on the Wildlife Services program, including

public health, safety, research activities and wildlife depredation.

Founded in 1919, the ASM encourages the study of mammals and advocates for the conservation of wild mammals. Its

2012 "President's Special Award" was given to Bergstrom at this year's meeting, for his and the conservation committee's

work for the Society on this and other conservation issues over the past year.

Bergstrom specializes in mammalian ecology and teaches ecology, mammalogy and ornithology. For more information

on the ASM conservation committee, contact Bergstrom at

No comments: