The Wildlife Society produces fact sheets on issues related to wildlife management and conservation, which may accompany position statements the Society adopts on a particular topic. TWS members as well as non-members are encouraged to print and distribute the fact sheets below in support of efforts to educate decision-makers, the public, and other stakeholders on issues that affect wildlife.
For questions and comments, please contact:
Director of Government Affairs
(301) 897-9770 ext 308
Captive Cervid Breeding
Expanding commercial demand for members of the family cervidae (e.g. deer) and their products has prompted growth of a for-profit captive industry that raises animals in privately-maintained facilities with the purpose of producing cervids to be sold as breeding stock for "farming" operations of for "canned shoots." Issues related to these practices include spread of wildlife disease; genetic mixing; privatization, commercialization, and domestication of public wildlife resources; misperceptions of fair chase and hunting; and a potential future decline in ecological stewardship.
- Template Letter to Legislators (Download)
Feral and Free-ranging Domestic Cats
Domestic cats (Felis catus) have no native range and are considered an exotic species throughout the world. This species poses a threat to native ecosystems as a reservoir for disease, competitor with other predators, and because of its habit of killing even when not hungry. TWS strongly opposes the existence of feral cat colonies and urges owners to keep their pets indoors or on a leash.
- General Facts about Domestic Cats
- Ecological Impacts of Feral Cats
- Problems with Trap-Neuter-Release
- Rabies in Humans and Wildlife
- Toxoplasmosis in Feral Cats: Health Risks to Humans and Wildlife
- American Bird Conservancy: Cats Indoors
- TWS Testimony to D.C. City Council
- Template Letter
- Critical Assessment of Claims Regarding Management of Feral Cats by Trap-Neuter-Return (Longcore et al, 2009)
- Feral Cat Colonies in Florida: The Fur and Feathers are Flying (Hatley 2003)
Feral Horses and Burros
Although many now-extinct horses evolved in North America, feral horses (Equus caballus) today are the descendants of horses introduced to the Americas in the 1500s by Spanish conquistadores. These horses are non-native and damage native ecosystems by trampling vegetation, hard-packing soils, and over-grazing. With no natural predators, horse populations continue to increase and current management options cost taxpayers millions annually.
Lead and Wildlife
Lead ammunition and fishing tackle poisons wildlife that inadvertently ingest the substance left behind by hunters and anglers. A 1991 ban on the use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl in North America was successful in reducing lead exposure in waterfowl species; however other key species remain at risk, including upland game (e.g., dove, quail) and scavengers (e.g., vultures, eagles). Alternative, non-toxic shot and tackle is available, but their use is not mandated universally, and in some cases, wildlife species are still negatively affected by continued use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle.
North American Wolves
Wolves once roamed throughout most of North America. Due primarily to conflicts with humans, however, both the gray wolf (Canis lupus) and red wolf (Canus rufus) were eradicated throughout much of their historic ranges. Although protected in the lower 48 states, wolf conservation and management continues to be a contentious topic because of the possibility of conflicts with people.