To Protect and Kill: US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Management of Human–Wildlife Conflict, 1996-2011

In: Society & Animals
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Criminology and Associated Faculty, The Patel School of Global Sustainability, University of South Florida, Tampa

Abstract

Harms against nonhuman animals have become a significant concern in different disciplines (e.g., green criminology). This paper presents a multi-disciplinary discussion of one form of animal harm—wildlife harm—created by state agencies charged with protecting animals. Specifically, this issue is examined by reviewing the complex problems faced by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which is charged with competing objectives: between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. In managing the human–wildlife conflicts brought to its attention, the USFWS must often make tradeoffs between protecting economic and public health interests, and protecting wildlife. As the data reviewed here indicate, this leads the USFWS to kill a large number of animals each year to protect economic and public health interests—more than 40 million animals since 1996. The political and economic factors that influence these killings, and how the state balances conflicting interests, are also examined.

  • Animal Law Coalition. (2010). Wolves back on endangered species list. https://animallawcoalition.com/wolves-back-on-the-endangered-species-list/.

    • Export Citation
  • Associated Press. (2009). FAA: Bird strikes more than double at major U.S. airports. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/04/24/faa-bird-strikes-more-than-double-at-major-us-airports/.

    • Export Citation
  • Balmford, A., Fisher, B., Green, R. E., Naidoo, R., Strassburg, B., Turner, R. K., & Rodrigues, A. S. L. (2011). Bringing ecosystem services into the real world: an operational framework for assessing the economic consequences of losing wild nature. Environmental and Resource Economics, 48(2), 161-175.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beirne, P. (1999). For a nonspeciesist criminology: Animal abuse as an object of study. Criminology, 37(1), 117-148.

  • Bravo, K. (2014). Wildlife control has shot and killed almost 26,000 birds at JFK Airport. http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/05/01/wildlife-control-shot-almost-26000-birds-jfk-five-years-including-protected-birds.

    • Export Citation
  • Burkett, P. (2006). Marxism and ecological economics: Toward a red and green political economy. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books.

  • Cardinale, B. J., Duffy, J. E., Gonzalez, A., Hooper, D. U., Perrings, C., Venail, P., Naeem, S. (2012). Biodiversity loss and its impact on humanity. Nature, 486(7401), 59-67.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cart, J. (2014, January 4). Congressmen question costs, mission of Wildlife Service agency. The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2014/jan/04/local/la-me-wildlife-killing-20140105.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014a). Mad cow disease. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/bse/.

    • Export Citation
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014b). Reported tularemia cases, 2003-2012. http://www.cdc.gov/tularemia/statistics/state.html.

    • Export Citation
  • Chan, K., Pringle, R. M., Ranganathan, J. A. I., Boggs, C. L., Chan, Y. L., Ehrlich, P. R., Macmynowski, D. P. (2007). When agendas collide: Human welfare and biological conservation. Conservation Biology, 21(1), 59-68.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohn, J. P. (2011). Wildlife groups opposing congressional delisting of gray wolf. BioScience, 61(8), 648.

  • DeLiberto, T. J., & Beach, R. H. (2006). USDA APHIS Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response System (SERS). In R. M. Timm & J. M. O’Brien (Eds.), Proceeding of the 22nd Vertebrate Pest Conference (329-333). Davis, CA: University of California Press.

  • DeVault, T. L., Blackwell, B. F. & Belant, J. L. (Eds.). (2013). Wildlife in airport environments: Preventing animal-aircraft collisions through science-based management. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dolbeer, R. A., Belant, J. L., & Sillings, J. (1993). Does shooting gulls reduce strikes with aircraft at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 21, 442-450.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dolbeer, R. A., Chipman, R. B., Gosser, A. L., & Barras, S. C. (2003). Does shooting alter flight patterns of gulls: A case study at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Proceedings of the International Bird Strike Committee, 26, 49-67.

  • Fears, D. (2013, December 15). Petition targets ‘rogue’ killings by Wildlife Service. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/petition-targets-rogue-killings-by-wildlife-services/2013/12/15/c749b3b2-5e8b-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Federal Registry. (2013). Proposed rules: Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services, 78(114), 35664-35719.

  • Foster, J. B. (2000). Marx’s ecology: Materialism and nature. New York: New York University Press.

  • Hooper, D. U., Adair, E. C., Cardinale, B. J., Byrnes, J. E. K., Hungate, B. A., Matulich, K. L., Gonzalez, A., O’Connor, M. I. (2012). A global synthesis reveals biodiversity loss as a major driver of ecosystem change. Nature, 486(7401), 105-108.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lemieux, A. M., & Clarke, R. V. (2009). The international ban on ivory sales and its effects on elephant poaching in Africa. British Journal of Criminology, 49(4), 451-471.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Long, M. A., Stretesky, P. B., Lynch, M. J., & Fenwick, E. (2012). Crime in the coal industry: Implications for green criminology and treadmill of production theory. Organization & Environment, 25(3), 299-316.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lynch, M. J., Long, M. A., Barrett, K. L., & Stretesky, P. B. (2013). Is it a crime to produce ecological disorganization? Why green criminology and political economy matter in the analysis of global ecological harms. British Journal of Criminology, 55(3), 997-1016.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martín-López, B., Montes, C., Ramírez, L., & Benayas, J. (2009). What drives policy decision-making related to species conservation? Biological Conservation, 142(7), 1370-1380.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McCarthy, D. P., Donald, P. F., Scharlemann, J. P. W., Buchanan, G. M., Balmford, A., Green, J. M. H., Butchart, S. H. M. (2012). Financial costs of meeting global biodiversity conservation targets: current spending and unmet needs. Science, 338(6109), 946-949.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Melious, J. O. (2001). Enforcing the Endangered Species Act against the States. William & Mary Environmental Law & Policy Review, 25(3). http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmelpr/vol25/iss3/3.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • National Public Radio. (2014, April 6). As man faces off with nature more often, U.S. Agency Scrutinized. http://www.npr.org/2014/04/06/299678132/as-man-facesoff-with-nature-more-often-u-s-agency-scrutinized.

    • Export Citation
  • National Resources Defense Council. (2014). Reform Wildlife Service predatory control: Why does the government continue to kill public wildlife for private interests? http://www.nrdc.org/wildlife/animals/wolves/predatorcontrol.asp.

    • Export Citation
  • Pires, S. F., & Moreto, W. D. (2011). Preventing wildlife crimes: Solutions that can overcome the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 17(2), 101-123.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • The Port Authority of NY & NJ. (2013). 2011 air traffic report. www.panynj.gov/airports/pdf-traffic/ATR2012.pdf.

    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, D. P., & Hull, R. B. (2003). Public ecology: an environmental science and policy for global society. Environmental Science & Policy, 6(5), 399-410.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Predator Defense. (2016). The USDA’s war on wildlife. http://www.predatordefense.org/USDA.htm.

    • Export Citation
  • Şekercioğlu, Ç. H., Daily, G. C., & Ehrlich, P. R. (2004). Ecosystem consequences of bird declines. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101 (52), 18042-18047.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sollund, R. (2013). Animal trafficking and trade: Abuse and species injustice. In R. Walters, D. Solomon, & T. Wyatt (Eds.), Emerging Issues in Green Criminology: Exploring Power, Justice and Harm (pp. 72-92). London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Song, S. J., & M’Gonigle, R. M. (2001). Science, power, and system dynamics: the political economy of conservation biology. Conservation Biology, 15(4), 980-989.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stirling, S. (2014, March 23). Port Authority animal killings in NJ have little effect on bird strikes, data reveals. The Star Ledger. http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2014/03/port_authority_animal_killings_in_nj_have_little_effect_on_birdstrikes_data_show.html.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stretesky, P. B., & Lynch, M. J. (2011). Coal strip mining, mountain top removal and the distribution of environmental violations across the United States, 2002-2008. Landscape Research, 36(2), 209-230.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stretesky, P. B., Long, M. A., & Lynch, M. J. (2013a). The treadmill of crime: Political economy and green criminology. London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stretesky, P. B., Long, M. A., & Lynch, M. J. (2013b). Does environmental enforcement slow the treadmill of production? The relationship between large monetary penalties, ecological disorganization and toxic releases within offending corporations. Journal of Crime and Justice, 36(2), 235-249.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stuart, S. N., Chanson, J. S., Cox, N. A., Young, B. E., Rodrigues, A. S. L., Fischman, D. L., & Waller, R. W. (2004). Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science, 306 (5702), 1783-1786.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, R. M., Brose, U., Dunne, J. A., Hall, Jr., R. O., Hladyz, S., Kitching, R. L., Tyliankis, J. M. (2012). Food webs: Reconciling the structure and function of biodiversity. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27(12), 689-697.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thorpe, J. (2003). Fatalities and destroyed civil aircraft due to bird strikes, 1915-2002. International Bird Strike Committee. www.int-birdstrike.org/Warsaw_Papers/IBSC26%20WPSA1.pdf.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Treves, A., & Karanth, K. U. (2003). Human-carnivore conflict and perspectives on carnivore management worldwide. Conservation Biology, 17(6), 1491-1499.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Treves, A., Wallace, R. B., Naughton-Treves, L., & Morales, A. (2006). Co-managing human–wildlife conflicts: A review. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 11(6), 383-396.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). (2014a). Wildlife damage. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage.

  • US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). (2014b). Threatened and endangered species protection. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_wildlife_damage%2Fsa_operational_activities%2Fsa_endangered%2Fct_threatened_endangered_species_protection.

    • Export Citation
  • US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). (2014c). Wildlife damage management (For years 1996-2011). https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/sa_reports/sa_pdrs.

    • Export Citation
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). (2012). Ecology of emerging viral and bacterial diseases in wildlife. www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/nwrc/research/emerging_diseases/content/WS_Research_diseases-5.pdf.

    • Export Citation
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). (2014a). Gray wolf, current population in the United States. http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/aboutwolves/WolfPopUS.htm.

    • Export Citation
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). (2014b). Gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains: News, information and recovery status report. http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/.

    • Export Citation
  • Wardle, D. A., Bardgett, R. D., Callaway, R. M., & Van der Putten, W. H. (2011). Terrestrial ecosystem responses to species gains and losses. Science, 332(6035), 1273-1277.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wellsmith, M. (2011). Wildlife crime: The problems of enforcement. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 17(2), 125-148.

  • Witmer, G. W., Sanders, R. B., & Taft, A. C. (2003). Feral swine: Are they a disease threat to livestock in the United States? USDA National Wildlife Research Center—Staff Publications, 292. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/icwdm_usdanwrc/292.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Witmer, G., Fine, A. E., Gionfriddo, J., Pipas, M., Shively, K., Piccolo, K., & Burke, P. (2010). Epizootiological survey of Mycobacterium bovis in wildlife and farm environments in Northern Michigan. Journal of Wildlife Disease, 46, 368-378.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wyatt, T. (2009). Exploring the organization of Russia Far East’s illegal wildlife trade: Two case studies of the illegal fur and illegal falcon trades. Global Crime, 10(1-2), 144-154.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wyatt, T. (2011). The illegal trade of raptors in the Russian Federation. Contemporary Justice Review, 14(2), 103-123.

  • Wyatt, T. (2013). The local context of transnational wildlife trafficking: The Heathrow Animal Reception Centre. In R. Walters, D. Solomon, & T. Wyatt (Eds.), Emerging Issues in green criminology: Exploring power, justice and harm (pp. 108-216). London, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 518 399 35
Full Text Views 31 22 3
PDF Downloads 18 12 1