The lawsuit, filed in Montana federal district court on November 19, 2019, seeks an updated environmental analysis of the program, and for the agency to halt or curtail its killing program until such a complete analysis is performed. Over the course of the past three years, in Montana alone, Wildlife Services has reported killing 152 wolves, 4 grizzly bears, 52 mountain lions, 18 black bears, 320 foxes (plus 23 fox dens, unknown number of casualties) and more than 20,000 coyotes (plus 47 coyote dens with an unknown number of causalities). Notably, the number of carnivores killed has not varied significantly over the past three years, casting further doubt on the efficacy of lethal management in reducing predator populations.
Wildlife Services is a multimillion-dollar federal program that annually kills an average of 1.5 million native species nationally, per its own reports, under the guise of “wildlife management.” Wildlife Services relies upon taxpayer dollars for its killing campaign, often using costly methods such as “aerial gunning” (use of helicopters) to launch preemptive strikes on thousands of carnivores prior to any actual conflict with humans. Most of the killing responds to requests from the agriculture industry.