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MAIINGANNIGHT HUNT International humane trapping standards Focus of Furbearer Conservation Workgroup Last year in 2014 I described for you a trip that I took to Yakutsk Siberia with the Furbearer Conservation Workgroup of the Association of Fish and Wild- life Agencies AFWA. While the focus of that article was the trip itself it did mention the Workgroup and how it came into being. As I continue to participate in the Workgroup I thought it important to continue to educate people about the issue of humane trapping. This is an introductory article and I will continue to add to the discussion in future articles. The Furbearer Conservation Workgroup came about as a result of an interna- tional agreement among the European Union EU Russia and Canada. The US joined as a result of an agreed minute between the EU and the US. The purpose of the agreement was to address a concern raised by the EU over the issue of inhumanetrapping techniques. The EU was poised to ban the importation of furs from countries which allowed these inhumane techniques. This ban threatened a significant portion of the international trade of furs and thus caught the attention of the leaders in countries participating in this trade especially Canada Russia and the United States. The agreement Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards was designed so that the participant counties would work together to develop and implement humane trapping standards. The Furbearer Conservation Workgroup was designated to represent the US in developing these standards. Since the signing of this agreement in 2007 Canada and the US have devel- oped techniques to test and evaluate the performance of various traps on animal welfare efficiency selectivity and safety. In Canada and Russia traps which pass the evaluation are then permitted traps. Others are not permitted. In the US it is up to the individual states and tribes to determine appropriate regulations including the use of particular traps. In this case the Workgroup has developed what are called Best Management Practices prescribeing which traps meet the standards and should be used but they do not require their use. Many state agen- cies including MI MN and WI DNRs are trying to implement the use of these traps through hunter education programs stressing the importance of using traps which have passed the standard. If want to learn more about humane trapping standards and which traps have passedspeciesassessmentspleasevisithttpfishwildlife.orgsectionbest_man- agement_practices for more information. If any tribal conservation department wishes to learn more about how to incorporatebestmanagementpracticesintotheirtrappereducationprogramplease do not hesitate to contact me at the GLIFWC offices at 715-682-6619. By Jonathan Gilbert PhD GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist In the shadow of a replica Wisconsin River sandstone formation Ho Chunk performers present Wasira or The Dance for Wolf Wildlife Coexistence Initiative attendees and other visitors to tribes Wisconsin Dells convention center. After a round of traditional dance and drum songs Elliot Funmaker foreground took a timeout to explain all the intricacies of the powwow regalia worn by Mary Green Funmaker. Staged during summer months Wasira recreates elements of the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial a former staple of the Dells tourist scene. photo by Charlie Otto Rasmussen By Charlie Otto Rasmussen Staff writer PAGE 7 MAZINAIGANFALL 2015 WisconsinDellsWis.FormanynaturalresourcemanagersinNorthAmerica and beyond killing predators has always made sense. When domestic animals and prized game species become food for the pack instead of an end use for humans killing off the competition is a necessary response. Or was. Scientists and researchers attending the Wolf and Wildlife Conservation Coexistence Initiative July 15-16 showed up armed to the teeth with studies that reveal what the new face of predator management success looks like. Absent here are poison guns and steel traps. In a sharp turn away from conventional thinking the research invariably tells a much different story investing time money and resources into killing off large carnivores is a waste. LethalactionandinactionisjustaboutequalsaidAriCornmanLittleRiver Band of Ottawa Indians wildlife biologist. Theres no statistical difference which means killing wolves and doing nothing is about the same. After learning the Michigan Department of Natural Resources failed to study the outcomes between killing wolves in areas that experience depredations on livestock or taking an alternative approachnamely deterrenceCornman and others launched a review of state records. Specifically they looked at recurrence. After a beef cow is killed for example and wildlife officials trap and dispose of a suspectwolfwhathappensnextProblemsolvedorarelocalcattlestillvulnerable The more wolves you kill the more your risk goes up Cornman said. Kill- ing wolves creates more problems for your neighbors with livestock Cornman said its not clear how the dynamic works but the states own data shows that removing individual wolves effects pack behavior to the detriment of livestock owners. Deterrence Cornman said statisticallyproduces the best results. Measures to ward off wolves include use of guard animals exclusion fencing and fright tactics best protect domestic livestock from potential wolf predation. Southeast across the Atlantic Ocean in South Africa Dr. Jeannine McManus and her research team wondered if it was really cheaper to kill predating leopards and other meat-eaters than to simply deter them in the first place. Lethal controls typically include employing trappers and shooters and using poison that indis- criminately kills wildlife. This is a problem we face globally when predators have an economic impact on livestock losses McManus said. What we found in our study is that non-lethal controls are significantly cheaper and result in fewer losses. The research is timely coming as farmers expand the size of their herds pushing rangelands deeper into wild country where livestock losses steadily trend upwards.ButSouthAfricanoperatorsareslowtoembracenon-lethalpredatorcon- trolslike guardian animalswhich have an effective proven history McManus said. Dogs and alpacas bond with herds and became traveling companions on the range. Protective collars are also effective and prevent neck-chomping leopards from taking down sheep. Socialpressuresfromneighborsinfluenceparticipationinnon-lethalcontrols said McManus adding that even farmers who have used cost-effective non-lethal deterrence methods often reverted back to killing leopards. Otherconferencepresentersalsodrewattentiontothepowerofsocialinfluence in how humans deal with predators. Despite clear evidence that killing animals like wolves and leopards is costly and ineffective at deterring predation on livestock many wildlife managers and farmers ultimately favor lethal-control. SpeakingfortheHo-ChunkpeopletribalpresidentWilfredClevelandempha- sized that human communities need to share with wildlife and take seriously the responsibility to make sure enough deer are available to wolves. We still have our ceremonies we still have our language and were trying to maintain harmony with these lands Cleveland said. In addition to the Ho Chunk Nation conference sponsors include Friends of Wisconsin Wolf and Forest County Potawatomi. For more information see www. Livestock are safer from predators with deterrence no-kill methods Michigan wolves to South African leopards