Speak Out Against Coyote-Killing Contest

Speak Out Against Coyote-Killing Contest

Here’s a celebration of a lack of empathy: To reward people who’ve learned coyote calls well enough to lure them to their deaths, the United States Predator Challenge invites people from three parts of the country to kill coyotes and bring their carcasses to three locations for counting toward a depraved contest entry.

The website reads, “We want to stress the importance that to win one of these regional contests will be HUGE… and to win the overall Championship will truly set the bar in the predator calling world.”

In an action alert, Project Coyote asks that you:

  • Urge your state legislators to support a ban on wildlife killing contests, which are cruel and unsporting, in your state. Locate your state legislators here. Find more guidance on passing local and state bans on wildlife killing contests here.
  • Urge your city and/or county council to pass a resolution condemning wildlife killing contests and calling for a statewide legislative ban. This year, the city councils of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, passed similar resolutions.
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
    a. For tips and tools about writing letters to the editor, click here.
    b. Talking points (it’s important to be polite and personalize your message):
    °  States should follow the lead of California and Vermont and ban the killing of coyotes and other wildlife for prizes and fun.
    °  Wildlife killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.
    °  No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not hunted or trapped form stable family groups that naturally limit populations. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability, resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here and here.
    °  Coyotes play an important ecological role helping to maintain healthy ecosystems and species diversity. As the top carnivore in some ecosystems, coyotes provide many benefits including providing free rodent control and regulating the number of mesocarnivores (such as skunks and raccoons), which in turn helps to boost ground and song bird abundance and biodiversity. Read more here.
    °  Wildlife killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that animals are disposable.
    °  Wildlife killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk.
    °  Killing as many animals as possible conflicts with traditional fair-chase hunting values and contravenes science-based wildlife conservation principles and practices.
  • Post this sharegraphic on social media, accompanied by the requests above.
  • Help raise awareness about wildlife killing contests by distributing this educational postcard and this factsheet.
  • Help sponsor a screening of KILLING GAMES ~ Wildlife In The Crosshairs in your community. Contact Project Coyote at info@projectcoyote.org about sponsorship opportunities.
For more information about wildlife killing contests, please visit the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests’ website here.

Good news for orcas, geese, sad news about Cinder the bear + ACTION ITEM

A quick roundup of this week’s animal news — with a request that you call the governor.

First, the grim: Cinder the bear, who was rescued as a badly burned cub in eastern Washington several years ago, was treated successfully by the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Center and released successfully by Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation. They found her in her den outside Leavenworth a couple years later, well fed and doing well. and found to be doing well when her radio collar was replaced in a den outside Leavenworth a couple years after her release. But this week, her skeleton was found: She was killed by a hunter last fall. It’s heartbreaking. As one commenter on the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Facebook page put it, “She had a rough life.” As one of the rescuers said, wild animals including bears would prefer five days of freedom to a lifetime in captivity — so at least she had a couple good years. I’m trying to hold onto the latter thought. It’s more than some animals enjoy.

Now for the more hopeful: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is asking for $1.1 billion and a three-year ban on orca watching in an effort to save the southern resident orcas — the orcas who frequent Puget Sound. Please spread the word that whale watching is harmful. As Gov. Inslee called the temporary ban “a relatively small inconvenience to give them a break. … Someone who is starving should not be scrambling for that last morsel that can keep them alive.”

  • Here’s Gov. Inslee’s number: 360-902-4111. Please call to thank him and ask that he take measures to help Washington’s wolves, too. One of the easiest/cheapest: Inslee must transfer management of wolves from the game managers at the Department of Fish and Wildlife to the nongame division, where they will be managed as endangered species.
  • Also along orca lines, Lynda Mapes at The Seattle Times just published a great story on the stealing of orcas in the 1970s from Puget Sound. Even if you don’t have time to read it, check out the top/featured photo of Lolita/Tokitae’s eye through the net the day she was taken from Whidbey Island’s Penn Cove.

Finally, more good news: Amazon said it will stop selling illegal foie gras in California. That means they were selling it before. And a lawsuit pushed them to this. But at least they’re stopping.

 

 

Today’s the Day to Call Gov. Inslee for the Wolves: 360-902-4111

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The Center for Biological Diversity published a full-page ad in today’s Seattle Times calling on people to call Gov. Inslee and demand that he stop the senseless killing of Washington’s endangered wolves.

That makes tomorrow — Monday — a great time for us all to call at once, to send a message.

GOV. INSLEE: 360-902-4111

Please also sign the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition for Gov. Inslee.

The center’s ad reads: “Governor Inslee: STOP the SENSELESS KILLING of WASHINGTON’S ENDANGERED WOLVES. More than 20 wolves have already been gunned down by the state, including 18 to appease one rancher who refuses to take reasonable steps to protect his cattle, like removing them from known wolf den and rendezvous sites. It’s cruel, counter to science and a waste of taxpayer money

“Washington has more than 1 million cattle and approximately 120 wolves. Conflicts between cattle and wolves are rare, affecting only a handful of Washington’s cattle annually. In response the state has killed 20 percent of Washington’s endangered wolves, destroying wolf families and even killing pups.

Science shows that killing wolves is not effective at reducing conflicts and may actually create more. The only methods scientifically proven to work are nonlethal.

And yet: The state has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on helicopter snipers to gun down endangered wolves, and spent more than $1 million on a consultant for its wolf-killing program.

“HERE’S WHAT MUST CHANGE:

  1. Inslee must immediately halt state-sponsored killing of wolves.
  2. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife must develop a new strategy for dealing with wolf-livestock conflicts.
  3. Inslee must transfer management of wolves from the game managers at the Department of Fish and Wildlife to the nongame division, where they will be managed as endangered species. [Ed. note: can you believe this hasn’t already happened?]
  4. Inslee and wildlife managers must listen to Washington residents — 3 out of 4 say wolves should be protected and are a vital part of our wilderness.
  5. Endangered wolves should be welcomed and protected on our public lands.

Thank you to the Center for Biological Diversity for paying for this ad!! For more information — or to donate — visit BiologicalDiversity.org.

Also see previous posts on this blog:

Does This Look Like a Cow Pasture? Then Stop Killing Wolves, Gov. Inslee

Fish & Wildlife Killed the Matriarch of the Profanity Pack: Time to Start Calling

Gratitude, Sorrow for Wolf Researcher Who’s Out at WSU

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Stop Buying Betta Fish

bettaIt’s disheartening to see any price tag on a living being — but the low, low $2 price tags on betta fish are especially sad.

People buy bettas because they’re cheap, beautiful and have a reputation as easy to care for. One reason bettas for that reputation, National Geographic explains, is that betta fish have an organ that allows them to take oxygen from the air above the surface of water. That means they can live in water with less oxygen than other fish.

However, all fish require more work than many people realize and should not be taken as pets without careful consideration, National Geographic shows based on science — and many people, including me, can tell you anecedotally. My husband and I had goldfish for years, and they required a fair bit of work, including a lot more space than those cartoonish goldfish bowls indicate and water that gets dirty quickly and therefore needs to be changed frequently. Even with our hard work and good intentions, one of our fish died from a bacterial infection that, we later learned, he probably would have survived if we’d gotten better advice. Google was not a big help, and neither were people at the pet stores we consulted. Pancho was more than 10 years old, and it broke our hearts to see him go the way he did.

As National Geographic explains, betta fish also require more time and care than many people realize — so be aware in advance of what any fish you take in will need and have resources available before you need them, so you can act quickly if your fish gets sick.

  • While bettas can live in small areas — like puddles in the wild during dry seasons — they typically have far more space the rest of the year, and should have larger tanks at home. Like 2.5 gallons at a bare minimum for a single fish. Four gallons is better (but don’t go too large, because too much pressure can hurt fish).
  • To feel well, betta fish need their water to be 76 to 82 degrees.
  • lack of environmental enrichment also is a problem, as it is for many captive animals. Fish do have feelings and the ability to feel happy and unhappy.

Just because some animals can live in harsh conditions for a while — for example, with small tanks and dirty water — that doesn’t mean they should. Similarly, just because people know how to breed animals to be pets doesn’t mean we should (although breeding is better than capturing fish in the wild, as most pet fish are).

Petco and other stores have shown they don’t know how to properly care for the betta fish they sell. They often stack bettas near each other in a way that stokes their anxiety, and as PETA recently documented, betta fish often suffer and die from cold temperatures, dirty water and being shipped in too-large containers that put dangerous pressure on their bodies.

If you or your child would like a betta fish, ask around at work and school. Chances are you’ll find someone with a betta sitting in a corner whom they’d like to rehome with someone who has more space and more time, so the fish can thrive rather than just sit there and look pretty.

Please consider tweeting @Petco and/or emailing customerrelations@petco.com  to ask the company not to carry betta fish anymore. It’s too complicated a process for a company that hasn’t handled that responsibility well.