WMC Conservation Newsletter Summer 2018- World Conservation

Jaguar Cubs Help Youth Understand Conservation

18-day-old Jaguar Cubs

In early April two female jaguar cubs were

born at the Animal Kingdom wildlife park in San Juan Teotihuacan, just outside of Mexico City. Although initially bottle fed by caretakers and exploring their new enclosure, at 4 months they will be too large and dangerous to approach weighing about 110 pounds as adults. The largest cats in the Americas, and the third largest in the world, jaguars are classified as “near-threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and they have seen a 25% population decline in the last 20 years. Said Jose Luis Gonzalez, a wildlife manager at the park, “Children are the ones who will inherit these species, and this planet.” For more cute pictures of jaguar cubs, see the original article By Jean Luis Arce.

Continue reading: WMC_newsletter_may2018

Kate Keets VM2021

WMC Conservation Chair

WMC Conservation Newsletter Summer 2018- Illinois Conservation

Do Wildlife Killing Contests Really Protect livestock?

Many Hunters Argue They Don’t.

Coyote. Source: Pixabay

“Varmints”, a term which includes coyotes, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, crows, wolves and rodents such as prairie dogs, may be legally killed whenever and in whatever quantity desired by the hunter and are not subject to “wanton waste” hunting regulations since they are not game. According to an article from Yale Environment 360 By Ted Williams, “Hundreds of varmint-killing competitions take place across the country with names like Southern Illinois Predator Challenge, Oklahoma’s Cast & Bang State Predator Championship…Idaho Varmint Hunters Blast from the Past…” These contests are legal in all US states except California. However, there is controversy over the role of these contests in the hunting community. Where varmint killers declare they are providing a valuable public service, helping to prevent coyotes from taking livestock and deer, traditional hunters like Carter Niemeyer, former employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services where he implemented “corrective” and “preventative” control of varmints, says these contests are “disgusting.” Niemeyer argues that “preventative” control, such as shooting any coyote from a helicopter because it might eat a sheep someday, only serves to remove the good coyotes and create a void to be filled by undesirable coyotes with interest in eating sheep. An excellent example is Georgia, where the state Department of Natural Resources sponsors the “Georgia Coyote Challenge”. The contest is intended to benefit deer; however, deer are so overpopulated in that statistic that the hunting season limit is 12 and hunters are allowed to use dogs.

In reality, having coyotes around can be beneficial to livestock and game. “When you have coyotes eating rodents and rabbits around sheep, that’s desirable,” states Niemeyer. Avid Pheasant hunter Rich Patterson published an article in 2017 where he stated that coyotes improve the pheasant population by driving off major pheasant predators such as raccoons, foxes, weasels etc. The Hunter’s Institute founder Jim Posewits had this to say about varmint contests, “I don’t think any form of hunting should be competitive. I think we need to encourage a more sensitive relationship with the animals we hunt.” To read the full article from Yale Environment 360 follow this link.

Continue reading: WMC_newsletter_may2018

Kate Keets VM2021

WMC Conservation Chair

Orphan Baby Shower 2018

The Wildlife Medical Clinic held its annual Orphan Baby Shower this past Saturday, April 21st at Prairieland Feeds in Savoy. Every year, the clinic holds a baby shower with its current orphans to educate the community on our everyday wildlife and how to decide if an animal is orphaned, what it takes to provide for the orphans in our care, and what sorts of species we commonly deal with. This year, we had some orphaned bunnies, squirrels, raccoons, and opossums attend the event in addition to our resident animals. The community was able to watch and ask questions as the orphan team fed the babies twice during the baby shower.

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