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Wild Matters | WildEarth Guardians

Nurturing the Diversity of Wildlife

Respect for wildlife means safeguarding their homes on public lands and demands wild places for animals to thrive.

Species and Ecosystems Matter

Each species plays an important role in keeping ecosystems healthy and thriving. Iconic species such as black bears, gray wolves and bald eagles are among the most famous ambassadors of the natural world, but bees, frogs, beavers, fish, owls and indeed all other species are no less essential to thriving ecosystems. For our sake and theirs, we need to nurture these wild communities, not destroy them.

The Wild Heritage of the American West

People come from around the world to experience the iconic landscapes and wildlife of the American West. Every animal—large and small—plays a vital role in the health of these iconic ecosystems. To maintain that heritage and safeguard our public lands, we need to recognize native animals’ right to exist and thrive.

The Diverse Threats They Face

Thousands of native species of animals, insects and plants are now under threat due to human-caused factors such as urban sprawl, conversion of natural habitats to crops and energy production, dense networks of roads, the proliferation of non-native species, pollution and climate change. Wildlife Services’ outrageous killing is the last devastating straw.

The Shift To Coexistence

At WildEarth Guardians, we recognize and advocate for native species’ inherent right to exist and thrive. Why? Because it’s their birthright—this is their home, and their last refuge. We are working to end Wildlife Services’ trapping, poisoning and aerial gunning of native species on their native landscapes and shift the paradigm to one of non-lethal management and coexistence.


Animals Under Attack

Gray wolf | WildEarth Guardians
Gray wolf Canis lupus

Gray wolves have made an incredible comeback, returning to their former homes after almost total annihilation. The return of wolves has cascading benefits including increased biodiversity and ecosystem health, famously documented in Yellowstone’s iconic landscape. Yet Wildlife Services killed 384 wolves in 2015 at the request of ranchers. The government just can’t make up its mind about wolves. We’re not confused: we know wolves should be protected and not subjected to shifting political whims.

Black bear | WildEarth Guardians
Black bear Ursus americanus

480. That’s how many black bears Wildlife Services killed in 2015 alone. Carnivores like black bears rarely attack livestock and play vital roles in our wild places, yet are targeted based on outdated anti-carnivore myths.

Coyote & pup | WildEarth Guardians
Coyote Canis latrans

Coyotes are one of the most persecuted native species, with Wildlife Services killing 68,905 in 2015 alone. As adaptable as song dogs are, coyotes can’t entirely outsmart government assassins with helicopters, guns, poisons, traps, snares and hunting hounds. The killing occurs on our public lands, because the livestock industry refuses to coexist with native wildlife and adopt other methods of livestock protection.

Dogs are killed "by accident" | WildEarth Guardians
Domestic dog Canis familiaris

Along with native wildlife, family dogs fall victim to Wildlife Services’ indiscriminate traps and poisons. In 2015 alone, Wildlife Services admitted killing 29 dogs. The death toll is likely higher, as Wildlife Services is known for covering up accidental kills and failing to accurately report its true death toll.

Owl | WildEarth Guardians

The federal government killed 161 owls in 2015 and you paid for it. Funded by citizen taxpayers but answering to private agribusinesses, Wildlife Services kills millions of native animals annually. Birds like great horned owls have a right to exist in their native habitats and also provide free rodent control. But they don’t stand a chance if they encounter poisoned bait or traps. Neither do other animals that feed on poisoned bodies as the killing cascades through the food chain. Owls, the nightly guardians of our forests and grasslands, may be lost if Wildlife Services continues its killing campaign.

Bald eagle | WildEarth Guardians
Bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Not only is our national symbol still recovering after decades on the endangered species list, but they have to contend with Wildlife Services’ indiscriminate killing tactics. The use of weapons such as poisons, traps and snares—meant for other species like coyotes and ravens—resulted in at least 2,733 unintended deaths in 2015 alone. Untold numbers of non-target animals die without ever being counted. This injustice occurs every year, and will continue, until you help us stop Wildlife Services.

Compassion in Action

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