Land and Wildlife Issues

Initiatives to exploit fossil fuels, minerals, water, forests and other resources, as well as the expansion of cities and other developments are major sources of habitat loss for wildlife. Without a safe place to live, wildlife species will go extinct. Also threatening many wildlife species’ chances for survival are hunting and harassment–people kill animals for food, recreation and economic purposes. And in some cases, animals are killed for no good reason at all.

If you care about land and wildlife issues, here are some things you can do:

Help ban M-44 cyanide bombs used to poison predators
Don’t support roadside zoos, animal circuses or the illegal wildlife pet trade

Help ban M-44 cyanide bombs used to poison predators
ACT BY: June 1, 2019
M-44 “cyanide bombs” are used by the U.S. government agency USDA Wildlife Services to kill predator animals like coyotes and foxes in 14 states—Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado (only on private land), Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and West Virginia. But they have killed and injured many more species than the target predators, including pet dogs and even a child. Several wildlife conservation groups such as the Center for Biological Diversity have pushed for a nationwide ban on these lethal devices and finally a bill that would do just that has been introduced, as some states continue to pass their own bans on M44s. Just recently Oregon’s State Senate passed a bill prohibiting M-44s, and two years earlier the state stopped funding use of the devices.

M-44 cyanide bombs look like metal sprinklers and are implanted into the ground. Coated with a meaty bait, they attract carnivorous and scavenger animals, and when touched or pulled they emit a cloud of toxic cyanide gas. Effects of this gas include internal bleeding, seizures, lung failure and death. The U.S. government uses these devices even though science has shown that killing predator animals does not make life safer for the livestock these predator-killing schemes are meant to protect. Read this detailed article in The Revelator to learn more about cyanide bombs and the danger they pose, or check out the film “Lethal ControlLethal Control.”

No matter what state you live in, you can help push a national ban by writing or calling your State Representative and demanding a ban on these inhumane killing devices which endanger human and animal welfare. You can find their contact information here.

Below is a sample letter you can send or dictate to your Representative:

Dear Representative [their last name here],

I strongly urge you to support a national ban on M-44 “cyanide bombs” used by USDA Wildlife Services in our state.

M-44 cyanide bombs are indiscriminate killers that cannot be used safely. They put human, pet and wildlife lives at risk and can cause serious, lifelong injuries. This despite the best available science showing that killing predator animals does not reduce livestock deaths. Please set an example for other states where these dangerous devices are currently used by implementing a ban in your state. Doing so is simply the right thing to do.

Please think about the health and safety of our nation’s wildlife, and its people and their pets.

[your name here]

Don’t support roadside zoos, animal circuses or the illegal wildlife pet trade
Wild animals belong in the wild. They do not belong in abusive roadside zoos or circuses as entertainment, or in homes as pets.

You can help wildlife. Here’s what to do:

  • Do not visit or support roadside, non-AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)  or non-WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) zoos or aquariums. AZA accredited zoos are held to a higher standard of animal care, education efforts and conservation work.
  • Do not purchase “exotic” animals from pet stores. Many of these exotic animals (including fish and corals) are taken directly from the wild.
  • Support the movement of wild animals from unsuitable captive conditions into safe wildlife sanctuaries. The Safina Center stands by the work of The Whale Sanctuary Project, an organization founded by Safina Center Creative Affiliate Lori Marino that works to get captive cetaceans into humane seaside sanctuaries where they can live out their lives in more natural conditions.

(cover photo: Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. Parula Warbler. ©Carl Safina)