Summary & Purpose
Illegal killing of non-game wildlife is a global yet poorly documented problem. The prevalence and ecological consequences of illegal killing are often underestimated or completely unknown. We review the practice of legal recreational shooting and present data gathered from telemetry, surveys, and observations on its association with illegal killing of wildlife (birds and snakes) within conservation areas in Idaho, USA. In total, 33% of telemetered long-billed curlews (Numenius americanus) and 59% of other bird carcasses found with known cause of death (or 32% of total) were illegally shot. Analysis of spatial distributions of illegal and legal shooting is consistent with birds being shot illegally in the course of otherwise legal recreational shooting, but snakes being intentionally sought out and targeted elsewhere, in locations where they congregate. Preliminary public surveys indicate that most recreational shooters find abhorrent the practice of illegal killing of wildlife; viewed through this lens, our data may imply only a small fraction of recreational shooters are responsible for this activity. This study highlights a poorly known conservation problem that could have broad implications for some species and populations of wildlife.
Date of Publication or Submission
Funding sources for this research included Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Army National Guard, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
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This dataset's Excel file contains the supporting data for this article, accepted for publication in the journal Conservation Science and Practice. See Metadata.csv
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Katzner, Todd E.; Carlisle, Jay D.; Poessel, Sharon A.; Thomason, Eve C.; Pauli, Benjamin P.; Pilliod, David S.; Belthoff, James R.; Heath, Julie A.; Parker, Kristina J.; Warner, Kevin S.; Hayes, Heather M.; Aberg, Madeline C.; Amdor, Sandra M.; Ortiz, Patricia A.; Alsup, Steven E.; Coates, Stephanie E.; Miller, Tricia A.; and Duran, Zoe K.. (2020). Dataset for 2020 Illegal Killing of Non-Game Wildlife and Recreational Shooting in Conservation Areas [Data set]. Retrieved from 10.18122/bio_data/6/boisestate