Federal Government Admits Killing over 1.2 Million Native Animals in 2019

Federal Government Admits Killing over 1.2 Million Native Animals in 2019

SOURCE: WildEarth Guardians DATE: October 7, 2020 SNIP: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife killing program has just announced its shocking death toll of wildlife killed last year. In 2019, USDA’s Wildlife Services program spent millions of taxpayer dollars to kill 1,258,738 native species. “This mass slaughter is carried out in our backyards, on public lands, and in beloved parks; there is no limit to the program’s reach,” stated Samantha Bruegger, Wildlife Coexistence Campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “Year, after year, Wildlife Services ignores the public’s desire for coexistence with wildlife, opting instead to kill bears for scratching trees in the woods, coyotes for making dens on public land, and wolves for preying on unattended cattle in the wilderness.” In 2019, Wildlife Services killed: 62,002 coyotes, 24,543 beavers, 800 bobcats, 1,362 gray foxes, 1,280 red foxes, 400 black bears, 302 gray wolves, and 308 cougars. Wildlife Services targets the most vulnerable and defenseless animals by destroying dens with countless young animals inside: 35,226 prairie dog burrows, 251 coyote dens, and 96 fox dens obliterated in 2019. Primarily at the behest of agribusiness and using taxpayer dollars, USDA’s Wildlife Services uses traps, snares, poisons, and aerial gunning to inhumanely slaughter wildlife, while simultaneously threatening public safety. Due to the indiscriminate nature of most of Wildlife Services’ lethal tools, the program almost accidentally killed a teenage boy in 2017 with a M-44 sodium cyanide bomb left baited on Idaho public lands. The boy is fortunate to be alive, but sadly had to witness his dog die from the poison to which they were both exposed. In total, 146 dogs died at the...
B.C. giving millions to transform rainforest into wood pellets for export, new report documents

B.C. giving millions to transform rainforest into wood pellets for export, new report documents

SOURCE: The Narwhal DATE: April 23, 2020 SNIP: “Energy really can grow on trees,” says the website of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. The association touts wood pellets — manufactured from sawdust, slash piles and low-grade timber from forestry harvest sites — as a way to fight climate change by replacing coal as an energy source. “Think firewood,” the website explains to anyone curious about the elongated pellets that resemble pet rabbit food in texture and appearance. But a new investigation claims pellets made by B.C.’s two largest wood pellet companies originate from whole trees as well as sawmill residuals and finds that burning pellets releases more greenhouse gas emissions than coal, blaming faulty carbon accounting for the industry’s climate-friendly veneer. Some trees used for pellets, including mature Western red cedars, likely come from logging operations in the province’s rare inland temperate rainforest which provides critical habitat for endangered caribou and other at-risk species, according to the investigation by Stand.earth, released Thursday. B.C.’s wood pellet industry has grown dramatically over the past decade, fueled by tens of millions of dollars in subsidies from the provincial and federal governments and overseas demand. B.C. is Canada’s leading exporter of wood pellets. Last November, the B.C. government announced more than $27 million in grants “to help increase the use of wood fibre that would otherwise have been burned as slash.” Slash is a general word for waste wood generated at forestry operations. Two grants totalling more than $1.5 million went to Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. for operations near Burns Lake and Vernon, a company singled out in the Stand.earth investigation. Stand.earth...
Slaughter of the songbirds: the fight against France’s ‘barbaric’ glue traps

Slaughter of the songbirds: the fight against France’s ‘barbaric’ glue traps

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: November 30, 2019 SNIP: The Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) claims French hunters kill an estimated 17 million birds every year – more than any other country – from 64 species. Of these birds, many of which are migratory, 20 are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list of endangered species in Europe, including the turtle dove, rock ptarmigan, violet thrush and curlew. About 1.4m song thrushes and more than 2m partridges are killed annually. Glue-trappers have permission to catch 42,500 song thrushes and blackbirds this year, half last year’s quota. Last year the French president, Emmanuel Macron, gave in to pressure from the powerful hunting lobby and halved the cost of a hunting licence. It is early morning in the heart of Provence, and somewhere behind the tall black pine trees a rousing dawn chorus begins. We are crouching out of sight among the rosemary bushes and wild asparagus listening to the melodic musical phrases of song thrushes and blackbirds. This is Marcel Pagnol country, rich in flora and fauna and of exceptional natural beauty; but there is no sign of the singing birds anywhere in the rustling foliage, trees or sky. Yves Verilhac, of France’s Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), knows why. “The singing you can hear is from caged thrushes and blackbirds who are appellants (callers). They’re caught and kept in the dark for months so when they’re taken out into daylight they sing their hearts out and attract other birds.” He points above the treetops where clusters of sticks attached to vertical poles glisten...
Romania forest murder as battle over logging turns violent

Romania forest murder as battle over logging turns violent

SOURCE: BBC News DATE: October 21, 2019 SNIP: Forest ranger Liviu Pop was responding to a tip-off about illegal logging when he was shot dead with a hunting rifle this week. He is the second Romanian forest ranger killed in just over a month, and the two deaths have heightened fears for the safety of those whose job it is to protect the forests of this eastern EU country. Romania is home to more than half of Europe’s last remaining old-growth and primeval forests — valuable ecosystems home to bears, wolves, lynx, and wildcat. There is considerable alarm at the levels of violence illegal loggers are willing to use in order to steal wood. That wood can end up anywhere across Europe, from furniture to paper or building materials. Liviu Pop had gone out to investigate a possible case of illegal logging in a mountainous region of Maramures in north Romania when his colleagues became concerned. They tried to reach him by phone but received no response, according to local media reports. The body of the married father of three was found by police in a forest gorge on Wednesday night. An investigation has been opened but there are no suspects at this stage, case prosecutor, Bogdan Gabor, told the BBC. Romania’s state-owned forest management company, Romsilva, which manages 48% of the country’s forests, strongly condemned the latest killing and cited alarming numbers of attacks against forestry workers who were trying to protect against “wood thieves”. It has counted 16 attacks on its forestry workers this year alone. The head of the Silva Trade Union Federation, Silviu Geana, complains...
Amazon gold miners invade indigenous village in Brazil after its leader is killed

Amazon gold miners invade indigenous village in Brazil after its leader is killed

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: July 28, 2019 SNIP: Dozens of gold miners have invaded a remote indigenous reserve in the Brazilian Amazon where a local leader was stabbed to death and have taken over a village after the community fled in fear, local politicians and indigenous leaders said. The authorities said police were on their way to investigate. Illegal gold mining is at epidemic proportions in the Amazon and the heavily polluting activities of garimpeiros – as miners are called – devastate forests and poison rivers with mercury. About 50 garimpeiros were reported to have invaded the 600,000-hectare Waiãpi indigenous reserve in the state of Amapá on Saturday. Indigenous people evacuated Mariry and fled to the bigger village of Aramirã – where shots were fired on Saturday. Indigenous leaders and local politicians have called for urgent police help, fearing a bloodbath. “The garimpeiros invaded the indigenous village and are there until today. They are heavily armed, they have machine guns. That is why we asking for help from the federal police,” said Kureni Waiãpi, 26, a member of the tribe who lives in the nearest town of Pedra Branca do Amapari, two hours away and 189km from Amapá state capital Macapá. “If nothing is done they will start to fight.” Kureni Waiãpi said Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro had encouraged invasions like this. “It is because he, the president, is threatening the indigenous peoples of Brazil,” he said. Senator Rodrigues blamed Bolsonaro’s repeated promises to allow mining on protected indigenous reserves, where it is currently prohibited, for the first invasion of Waiãpi land in decades. In the 1970s, the...