US Fish and Wildlife sued for “failing to protect” species and habitats from lead ammunition

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The lawsuit focuses on grizzly bears, big cats and other protected species across a large part of the country. The main points of contention are lead ammunition and accidental quarries.

On Monday, the Center for Biological Diversity and several allies sued the US Fish and Wildlife Service in federal court in Missoula, Mont.

The lawsuit challenges a recent policy change by the Biden administration that allowed for an increase in hunting and fishing at national wildlife refuges. He said lead ammunition and tackle could further harm endangered species in affected areas.

The costume takes claims under the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. These are several wildlife refuges in Montana, Arizona, Florida, Texas, and South Dakota. In a report, the Center for Biological Diversity accused fish and wildlife of “failing to protect” endangered species.

“We are going to court to make sure that wildlife sanctuaries in our country really provide a safe haven for endangered wildlife,” said Camila Cossio, senior counsel for the centre’s endangered species program. “The Fish and Wildlife Service ignores the major risks that sport hunting and fishing poses to endangered animals.”

It’s important to note that a federal lead ammunition ban already exists nationwide for waterfowl hunting, and many states ban lead for hunting much further than that. Although California is the only state to ban lead for hunting outright, others have implemented bans that cover different types of hunting and state shelters.

In addition to the lead regulation, a movement among hunters to choose unleaded ammunition continues to gain momentum. Organizations like the Non-lead partnership bring together NGOs and state wildlife agencies to tackle the problem of lead use in hunting. Many hunters are opting personally to make the change on their own.

(Photo / M.Whalen)

Allegation: Environmental testing of fish and wildlife in United States failed

The lawsuit claims the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to fully consider the impact of lead ammunition, which often poisons wildlife, before signing the new policy at the shelters.

He also says the agency failed to take into account that an increase in hunting will likely harm endangered species. in affected areas. He cites unacceptable risks to grizzly bears in Montana, jaguars in Arizona, ocelots and jaguarundi in Texas and Florida, and various waterfowl.

“More than 500 species protected by the Endangered Species Act – nearly a third of all recorded species in the United States – are found in wildlife sanctuaries,” the complaint says.

“The Hunting and Fishing Rule has opened or expanded over 2.3 million acres of refuge land for hunting or sport fishing. The refuge system is essential for biodiversity. Many refuges are the only places in the world for species on the brink of extinction.

Among hunters, the lawsuit raises the main concern of accidentally killing endangered species while hunting others. For example, hunters may be wrong endangered Whooping cranes for Canada cranes, North America most common crane.

However, the last known incident of a whooping crane be wrong like another species happened in 2013. The hunter realized his mistake and surrendered. And before that, only four other birds had been accidentally killed and reported since 1968.

Additionally, tickets and fines are issued when hunters mistake one species for another, and it is considered both unethical and unsportsmanlike to shoot any species if one does not know what to do with it. what it is.

hunting at the national wildlife refuge
In the Florida Everglades, two sandhill cranes perform a courtship dance. Whooping cranes are noticeably whiter, but have the same red flame on the forehead; (photo / National Park Service)

It also discusses the Reversal of the Trump era a ban on lead-based fishing and hunting gear. Increased fishing and hunting in national wildlife areas would release more potent neurotoxin into affected habitats. This is especially true for the rivers on which all species depend.

The lawsuit finds that the Fish and Wildlife Service performed an environmental scan before implementing the new rules, but says the scan was flawed.

“The environmental analysis must disclose and analyze the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of the proposed action on the environment,” says the lawsuit. “The agency’s analysis of the cumulative impacts of lead is limited to two paragraphs and contradicts its own public statements in the media. “

Lead poisoned golden eagle.
Poisoned to death eagle: a hunter’s call for unleaded ammunition

Lead-based ammunition leaves residues toxic to golden eagles and other species in the carcasses. Hunters can tell the difference by choosing unleaded alternatives. Read more…


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