Southern California environment news and trends

Deadliest dozen: Where wildlife is at risk out west

Ingo Wagner/AFP/Getty Images

A grim new report from nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians titled “The Deadliest Dozen Counties in the American West” details the areas where government agency Wildlife Services (a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) has killed the most mammalian carnivores over an 11-year period. It’s a list that includes bears, wolves, foxes, coyotes and bobcats that are taken down through a variety of means both to protect “agribusiness” (existing livestock and crops) and reduce predation on hoofed animals like elk, in part to satisfy hunting groups.

“It’s a desperate situation for wildlife that live in certain districts, especially Elko County, Nevada, which is the deadliest county in the West,” said Wendy Keefover, Director of Carnivore Protection for WildEarth Guardians, in a statement. The report, which covers the years 1998 through 2008, found that Elko County recorded by far the most at 17,805 kills.