Donald Trump Jr. with dead Cape Buffalo

The definition of the word HUNT is “to chase or search for game or other wild animals for the purpose of catching or killing.”

The definition of the word CONSERVATION is “the act or an instance of conserving or keeping from change, loss, or injury.”

Obviously the dictionary does not equate hunting with conservation. One is defined as catching or killing and the other as keeping from injury.

If you have some insane idea that Hunting Is Conservation:

Come At Me

I think we all remember the fate of the Passenger Pigeon?

Passenger Pigeon Audubon

In 1850, the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was the most abundant bird in North America and possibly the world. Throughout the 19th century, witnesses had described sightings of pigeon migrations, “how they took hours to pass over a single spot, darkening the firmament and rendering normal conversation inaudible.”

Passenger pigeon shoot

Contemporary environmentalism arrived too late to prevent the passenger pigeon’s demise due to market hunters, but the two phenomena share a historical connection. According to Stanley Temple, a professor emeritus of conservation at the University of Wisconsin, “the extinction was part of the motivation for the birth of modern 20th century conservation.” In 1900, even before the last Passenger Pigeon’s death in the Cincinnati Zoo, Republican Congressman John F. Lacey of Iowa introduced the nation’s first wildlife-protection law, which banned the interstate shipping of unlawfully killed game. “The wild pigeon, formerly in flocks of millions, has entirely disappeared from the face of the earth,” Lacey said on the House floor. “We have given an awful exhibition of slaughter and destruction, which may serve as a warning to all mankind. Let us now give an example of wise conservation of what remains of the gifts of nature.” That year Congress passed the Lacey Act, followed by the tougher Weeks-McLean Act in 1913 and, five years later, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protected not just birds but also their eggs, nests, and feathers1.

Donald Trump Jr. and Erik Trump

Even with today’s environmental laws, we are losing species at an alarming rate, and with Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary it’s no wonder. A newly created U.S. advisory board, the “Wildlife Protection Board,” has been created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Donald Trump and his family2.

Amur Leopard

The Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis – above) is just one majestic animal on the Critically Endangered (CR) list with less than 100 individuals in the wild due to hunting for its fur. Asian Elephants and Indian Elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) are both listed as Endangered (EN) on the ICUN red list. Of course, by now most people know they have been slaughtered by hunters for their ivory.

Asian Elephant

With as many as 540 individuals in the wild the Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is also listed as Endangered, being hunted for not only their fur but body parts as well.

Amur Tiger

With an estimated 200 to 300 individuals left in the wild, the Cross River Gorilla (CR) (Gorilla gorilla diehli) has been hunted to near extinction.

Cross River Gorilla

Why is this happening? People don’t respect wildlife. Some people actually don’t consider human beings as animals. Some people think humans are superior to all other life forms. These beliefs allow them to treat other animals however they see fit. Thank God most human beings have developed a more modern view of wildlife and acknowledge that some animals display sufficient consciousness and self-awareness to deserve moral consideration.

Why would any human being think that killing a Giraffe (Giraffa) is a good idea? They are listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN red list.

Woman With Giraffe

Even more disconcerting to me than these “trophy hunters” killing wildlife for “sport” is the belief by some that carnivores such as bears and wolves should be eliminated. The persecution of these apex predators, especially wolves, is rampant among some hunters and cattle ranchers.

wolves

But I digress. It is obvious that hunting is NOT conservation. I point you to a post I wrote a couple of years ago on “Wildlife Conservation Myths” that not only pertains to this subject but offers a disturbing trend of Republicans attempting to remove or diminish many of our public lands. These policies have actually gotten worse since the advent of the Trump Abomination, I mean Administration.

If you want to argue the financial side of conservation, I refer you to my December 2014 post titled “The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and Who Pays for It.”  I’ll give you a hint, it’s not hunters!

Last but not least, I will leave you with a VERY disturbing video of Sandhill Crane hunting in western Oklahoma.

WARNING!!! This is a very disturbing video of Sandhill Cranes being slaughtered by “hunters.” If you have a weak stomach, I advise you NOT to watch this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf0utY59X0w

References: 1Why the Passenger Pigeon Went Extinct, 2Trump Wildlife Protection Board Stuffed with Trophy Hunters

More links you may be interested in:

*****

[email protected] Week is a cheap ploy ginned up by some high priced consultants we at 10,000 Birds hired and then stiffed on the bill. We’re desperately trying to stay relevant in a bird blogosphere being decimated by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and memes. We here at 10,000 Birds have no shame and it was either this or lots of posts about woodcocks, boobies, and woodpeckers. All the posts in [email protected] Week are probably the opinions of the authors of said posts and no one else. Well, except maybe you. Weirdo. Agree? Disagree? We’ll see you in the comments. Or, more likely, on Facebook. Sigh…

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Written by Larry
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.