Argumentative Essay On Predator Control

1675 Words 7 Pages
Predator control programs have killed hundreds of native animal species in hopes to benefit livestock producers and to enhance game populations. However, the animals they are killing, beavers, wolves, and many other carnivores, are important benefactors of ecosystems. Bradley Bergstrom said in his article “License to Kill” that “leading ecologists have concluded that many of the world’s pandemics, irruptions of undesirable species and collapses of desirable ones, and destabilization of ecosystems…have been caused by the loss of apex predators” (et al. 131). The loss of major apex predators is due to predator control, which once started creates a malicious cycle of deterioration in the ecosystem that is hard to reverse. Although many people …show more content…
137). There will always be a lone animal looking for a place to start a family because it is ingrained in the animal’s instinct; the problem is not having enough territory. By killing the established pack of predators, the predator control program opens up a new home for traveling mating pairs that were looking for an unoccupied territory to form a new family. Moreover, if predator control programs are successful in killing the native predators, the program is usually forced to introduce new predators to control the increase in herbivore populations caused by the lack of native predators. After a while, the predator control program must use predator control methods to manage the introduced species which “are a greater threat to native biodiversity than pollution, harvest, and disease combined” (Simberloff). In Australia, wallabies were originally hunted by the Aboriginal people and dingoes. In a greater effort to control extreme wallaby populations …show more content…
To demonstrate, predator control programs cannot predict which animals will be affected by certain predator control methods, and usually more non-targeted animals are killed than the actual targeted animals. Over a period of eleven years, the majority of deaths of kit foxes and swift foxes were caused by neck snares, leg hold traps, or M-44s which are devices that deliver cyanide powder to animals. As a result, “swift foxes were extirpated in many areas…as a result of non-target mortality from federal coyote and wolf control programs” (Bergstrom et al. 138). The traps were set for coyotes and wolves, but the majority of the traps were triggered by foxes which caused the predator control program to lay more traps, killing more foxes. It is wasteful to keep putting out traps that are not working. There are easier non-lethal solutions that are more effective like putting up fences. Furthermore, Prairie dogs are deemed pests because they are thought to destroy grazing land for cattle. However, black-footed ferrets are dependent on them for their sole food source. Black-footed ferrets are now nearly extinct from the United States because of excessive prairie dog extermination. Predator control of prairie dogs is unnecessary. Prairie dogs actually benefit livestock by “increas[ing] the nutritional content and digestibility of forage plants, and increas[ing] live-plant to

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