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Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust and The Humane Society of the United States: Working Together to Save Wildlife

In 1993, the board of directors of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), recognizing that loss of habitat represented a major threat to wildlife, approved the establishment of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust. The formation of the new organization provided an opportunity to protect animals through the creation of wildlife sanctuaries. From its founding until today, properties protected through conservation easements and other methods are permanently preserved as wildlife habitat. The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is unique among national land conservation organizations in that it prohibits activities such as recreational and commercial hunting and trapping on protected properties. The Trust shares a headquarters office with The HSUS in the Washington, DC area. The arrangement greatly benefits both entities, as it has aided the Trust’s growth around the world and provides The HSUS with the ability to extend animal protection campaigns to include the permanent preservation of wildlife habitat.

Collaboration

In addition to habitat loss, illegal poaching is a serious threat to wildlife. Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poachers are caught. Poachers kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. The Trust and The HSUS work together with law enforcement to offer rewards to help enforce anti-poaching laws. In 2013, the Trust and The HSUS paid a $5,000 reward for the conviction of a swan poacher in Idaho. In Mississippi, a $250 reward was paid after the conviction of a bald eagle poacher. The conviction of a deer poacher brought a $2,500 reward in Oregon. And in Louisiana, a $2,500 reward was paid for the conviction of a black bear poacher. The Trust and the HSUS have offered almost $500,000 in rewards for the arrest and conviction of poachers. Poaching, the illegal hunting and killing of animals, results in the death of tens of millions of animals every year, a number equal to all legal hunting combined, according to estimates of wildlife officials. Rewards have been offered in cases involving many different wild animals, from mule deer and elk to bald eagles and bobcats. These rewards not only encourage people to give information to wildlife officials, they also raise awareness of this wide-spread illegal activity through media outreach. In addition to anti-poaching efforts, the Trust and The HSUS work together to increase awareness and appreciation for wildlife by providing expertise on living with wildlife and helping people reduce conflicts with wild animals.

Bobcat Close-Up

Bobcats have long been the target of hunters and trappers. Still, the primary threat to this great cat is the loss of habitat.

 

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