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Wildlife and Exotics

 

Pelt Production Up 9 Percent

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This brief report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) details the state of the mink industry in 2011. In total, mink breeding, pelt production, number of mink farmers, and amount of money made from pelts increased in 2011 over 2010. The total number of mink pelts produced (i.e., the minimum number of mink killed for fur) was 3.1 million in 2011.



Assessing Impacts of Land-Applied Manure from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Fish Populations and Communities

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Manure runoff from concentrated animal farming operations in Indiana is impacting the reproduction and gender of wild fish, according to this study. The hormone-laden waste contaminates local waterways, leading to 60% of fish embryos being male (in a control setting with fish in uncontaminated water, the ration was close to 50:50). The study's authors and other fish experts worry that the contaminants may lead to a decline in fish populations. Additionally, waterways contaminated by animal farms had 50% less fish diversity and a 28% higher adult minnow death rate when compared to the uncontaminated waterway.

Determining Adrenocortical Activity as a Measure of Stress in African Elephants in Relation to Human Activities

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This study of elephants residing inside and outside of protected areas found significantly lower levels of stress for those elephants residing within parks and reserves. Using fecal samples found within and outside of protected areas, researchers measured higher fecal glucocorticoid metabolites levels in elephants outside of the protected areas, indicative of higher stress. The authors conclude that "the reason for the higher (stress) level in the high-risk areas (is) thought to be a result of long-ongoing hunting activity, which has led the animals to associate humans and vehicles with detrimental effects."

WSPA's Investigation into the Global Fur Trade: Things We Need to Know

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This article summarizes facts and statistics about fur farming and the fur trade internationally. The report highlights laws banning certain types of fur farming and how many animals are killed for fur. The report shows that most fur (85%) is produced on fur farms. Excluding rabbits, an estimated 50 million animals are killed on fur farms each year. If rabbits are included the number of animals killed on fur farms is thought to be over one billion.


Idaho Residents' and Sportsmen's Opinions on Wildlife Management and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game

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This survey found that 91% of Idaho residents consider the state’s abundant wildlife an important reason to live there. The overwhelming majority of Idaho residents (90%) approve of legal hunting, nearly all respondents (97%) approve of legal and recreational fishing, and a majority approve of legal trapping (61%). A majority of residents (60%) also believes that hunting and fishing are part of the scientific management of wildlife. During the past two years, 78% of Idaho residents have watched or photographed wildlife while only 53% have gone fishing and only 35% have gone hunting.

Global Fur Trade Now Worth $15 Billion

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This article from March 2012 includes figures released by the International Fur Trade Federation revealing an increase in fur sales of 7% from 2010-2011 and 70% since 2000/2001. While fur sales have increased in most areas (including a "rebound" in the United States), the growth is highest in Asia.



Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes Toward Wolves

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This study of Wisconsin residents' attitudes toward wolves found an increase in fear of wolves and an increase in support for lethal control methods from 2001-2004 to 2009. The study also found an increase in the belief that wolves compete with hunters for deer and even an increased inclination to personally poach a wolf. The study's authors say that legal and illegal killing of wolves in Wisconsin may continue to grow and threaten the abundance of the species unless action is taken.


Animals Taken by Wildlife Services (Fiscal Year 2011)

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This list provides data from the U.S. Wildlife Services (a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) regarding the number of animals killed by the agency in 2011. The data is provided by species and state; in total, Wildlife Services killed nearly 4 million animals in 2011.




The Return of the Fur Coat: A Commodity Chain Perspective

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This report analyses the fur industry from an economic perspective, tracing the history of the fur coat. The author argues that the fur coat has shifted over time to embrace both mainstream production but to also symbolize craftsmanship, allowing it to be sold as a luxury fashion item. The author also makes arguments as to why and how the fur industry became a target of the animal protection movement, why they succeeded in diminishing fur sales, and how the fur industry was able to bounce back.

Bonobos Share with Strangers

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Sharing is thought by many to be a uniquely human concept, along with the belief that non-human animals are driven by self-serving interests. However, this study (based on experiments with wild-born primates in a sanctuary setting) shows that bonobos are anything but selfish and will share food with complete strangers, even more often than with members of the same group. According to the authors, the sharing seems predicated on the possibility of new social interactions.

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