Killing predators to “conserve” other more “desirable” wildlife has been a consistent topic of conversation on this forum.  It’s ugly enough in it’s own right in my mind – single-species conservation runs into such ethical dilemmas, especially when most wildlife managers don’t see a problem at all.  It appears one wildlife manager in Nevada doesn’t see an ethical problem with much of anything :

Ethics concerns raised at NV wildlife commissionAP

The projects before the Nevada Wildlife Commission seemed simple enough: spending about $160,000 to kill ravens and coyotes to protect sage grouse and mule deer from the predators.

But the situation has since turned into an ugly soap opera, with ethics questions raised over ties between one commissioner’s mother and backers of the predator projects.

Yet, from my perspective, it’s frustrating that a story about “ethics concerns” of a wildlife management agency could miss the mark so fundamentally.  Here we have a wildlife agency slaughtering coyotes & ravens in such a nasty way with public dollars and the ‘ethical question’ is about whether it is wrong that one of the commissioner’s family members might be the one to get the contract for the wildlife slaughter ?

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Brian Ertz

9 Responses to Ethics concerns raised at NV wildlife commission

  1. kt says:

    Remember the Scott Sonner story just a couple weeks ago about the Wildlife services whistleblower? Wildlife Services was conducting an earlier scorched earth predator killing project in Elko land – Now this. Everything will be out of balance … THese people are sick and disgusting.

  2. JB says:

    “THese people are sick and disgusting.”

    Wow, are you so morally superior that you feel comfortable making such blanket condemnations? Wildlife professionals are much more diverse in their thoughts than they are given credit for on this blog.

    Take a gander at this pub when you have a chance:

    Muth et al. (2006). Unnecessary Source of Pain and Suffering or Necessary Management Tool: Attitudes of Conservation Professionals Toward Outlawing Leghold Traps. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 34(3): 706-715.

    Among other things, they found that 38% of state/federal agency employees and 58% of non-agency wildlife professionals would support a ban on the use of leghold traps for furbearing species.

  3. ProWolf in WY says:

    Interesting article but it seemed to focus more on the relationship than the issue of killing ravens and coyotes.

  4. Ryan says:


    The ravens are killed with oiled eggs, Coyotes are generally shot from planes and from the ground. Most others are done in a similar fashion. Its all availiable to be read on the web. The only traps they uses are generally snares, which also kill very quickly.

  5. John d. says:

    Snares..quick… hah…

  6. Ryan says:


    Do you have any infromation beyond a smartass remark to add to this discussion? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  7. John d. says:


    I thought it was best that I corrected your statement concerning snaring. If you would like a more sophisticated and detailed version of the comment:
    Snaring is one of the most cruel trapping methods, causing slow and agonising deaths involving (but not limited to) starvation, infliction of severe lacerations and dehydration. Let’s not forget the repeated clubbing to the head with a blunt object.

    As for the aerial gunning of coyotes and spending such a vast amount of money on what is on the whole an utterly fruitless exercise. Therefore my personal opinion is that it is a waste of time and funds that could be used elsewhere for more constructive purposes.

  8. jerryB says:

    Ryan…a brief summary about “what happens to animals caught in traps”

  9. jdubya says:

    Tournament time!


July 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey