After Killing a Record 2.7 Million Animals, Federal Government Hides

This is an important article over at Sinapu.

After Killing a Record 2.7 Million Animals, Federal Government Hides Of course Wildlife Services would rather operate in as much secrecy as possible.

“Birds constituted the overwhelming majority of animals exterminated, with starlings registering the greatest single species death total at 2.3 million. Mammalian carnivore deaths exceeded 101,000 and included 445 badgers, 1,918 bobcats, 397 black bears, 359 cougars, 75,674 coyotes, 3,907 foxes, and 191 wolves.”

As non-native birds that displace native birds, the starlings are no loss. It’s the native wildlife that angers people and the fact that you don’t know who is getting this government largess.






  1. Bruce Boxall Avatar
    Bruce Boxall

    This is a joke, right?

  2. Buffaloed Avatar


  3. Steve Avatar

    How much was spent exterminating these animals vs how much damage would they have caused?

  4. chris Avatar

    Of the 2.7 million animals killed by Wildlife Services, Sinapu states that 2.3 million were non-native starlings and 101,000 were mammalian carnivores. This leaves a total of 299,000 other animals made up of native birds and mammalian herbivore/omnivores. It’s all horrible but I’m not sure why the killing of mammalian carnivores gets more attention. One also has to wonder how many non-target species were killed.

    The effect of all this lethal control cascades far beyond the individual animals killed. One of the animals frequently targeted by Wildlife Services is the prairie dog, killed on behalf of ranchers who claim the “dogs” compete for vegetation and that their burrows can be hazardous for livestock. This is devastating to the recovery of the black-footed ferret which unfortunately eats only prairie dogs.

    I’m sure most people using this site already know this, but I’ve talked to a few people who didn’t recognize the difference between Wildlife Services and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The USFWS is under the Department of Interior and manages refuges and the recovery of endangered species. Wildlife Services is under the Department of Agriculture, hence it’s different purpose and priorities.

  5. Bruce Boxall Avatar
    Bruce Boxall

    Why would they want to kill 2.3 million birds? Somehow this doesn’t seem real

  6. kt Avatar

    Bruce: Oh, you would be surprised at Who Deems What Birds or Other Animals worthy of spending your tax dollars on (through APHIS Wildlife Services and their paid killers of wildlife) to kill.

    Around a decade ago now, I recall there was a “mysterious” die-off of native California gulls at Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge near Nampa. There were articles in the newspapers about this strange die-off. Turned out that gulls were poisoned by Wildlife Services – because they were a “nuisance” eating improperly contained French fry waste at a Simplot French fry plant in near Caldwell. Rather than industry having to take better care of the stinking French fry residue littering the land outside the facility, APHIS killed the gulls. So – the killing is part of the cheap taxpayer-subsidized way for some industries to not have to deal with the mess it creates.

    If you ever want to get creeped out, read APHIS’s NEPA documents. There was a nationwide EIS I recall, where, among other things, they laid out the “need” to kill kangaroo rats in Texas or New Mexico or somewhere. Kangaroo rats, and their wonderful fur-lined cheekpouches, for goodness sake!

    Many of the Wildlife Services people seem to these days be trying to find ANY excuse to conduct predator killing on public lands – in support and subsidization of the public lands ranching industry and their failure to take responsible care of livestock.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan