Feds’ wildlife kills dwarf ADF&G’s

Alaska’s predator control programs garner lots of attention, both here and Outside, but for sheer numbers, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is dwarfed by a federal agency that kills — and also disperses by non-lethal means — far more animals each year with far less controversy.

Wildlife Services, the animal control division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, killed more than four million animals in 2013 alone (and dispersed a further 18 million), a number that grew by a million from the previous year, according to reports, including in The Washington Post.

The service recently released a giant document outlining these instances of animal control, and High Country News used the data to generate an infographic. Among other things, it noted that despite invasive species control efforts, native species were nearly as likely to be killed as invaders. Coyotes were the most-targeted mammal, with more than 75,000 deaths, followed by feral swine and beavers. Much further down the list, Wildlife Services also killed 320 gray wolves (mainly by trapping, but sometimes by aerial hunting) and a single moose.

Alaska’s numbers tend to be dwarfed by those of other Western states — 257 ravens were killed here, compared to 4,163 in Nevada — but detailed figures for each species in Alaska can be found in the agency’s 655-page document at aphis.usda.gov.

Anchorage Daily News