Cane toads are champion skeeter eaters

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
SYDNEY–The 1935 introduction of African cane toads to
Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji was not quite the ecological
disaster that cane toad foes claim, Sydney University biologists
Rick Shine and Mattias Hagman have discovered.
While cane toads did not control the sugar cane-eating
insects that they were supposed to devour, and have voraciously
consumed some small Australian wildlife, especially goanna lizards,
Shine and Hagman discovered through a series of controlled
experiments that cane toad tadpoles are exceptionally capable
predators of mosquito larvae.

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Exterminator called to Primarily Primates

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2007:
SAN ANTONIO–The messy plight of the Primarily Primates
sanctuary reportedly became messier still in early December 2006, to
the point that PETA-backed, state-appointed receiver Lee
Theisen-Watt called in ABC Pest & Lawn Services on December 13 to
kill rats, mice, and cockroaches.
“ABC is proud to be able to take on this project for free as
our holiday gift to the community,” said ABC general manager Mark
“It was probably the worst roach infestation I’ve ever
seen,” Ambrose later told Chicago Tribune correspondent Howard Witt.
“Cockroaches carpeted the floors and walls of some animals’
sleeping houses.” wrote Witt, “Rats had colonized others.”

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CVS drops glue traps

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2006:

WOONSOCKET, R.I.–The 5,400-store CVS drug chain on March 1
ceased stocking glue traps for small rodents, spokesperson Mike
DeAngelis confirmed to Providence Journal staff writer Paul Grimaldi.
PETA spokesperson Stephanie Boyles told Grimaldi that PETA
first asked CVS to stop selling glue traps in August 2005. The
Humane Society of the U.S. asked chain stores to stop selling glue
traps in 1985-1990, but whether any complied is unclear.
“We are currently trying to persuade E-Bay to stop selling
glue traps and leghold traps. Perhaps this latest major development
will encourage them to do the right thing,” said Philip Kiernan of
Irish Council Against Blood Sports.”

Crows & parrots outwit exterminators

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2006:

DARIEN (Ct.), SAN FRANCISCO –Crows and parrots, believed
to represent the apex of avian intelligence, evolved in an
environment favoring agility and efficiency in the lightest possible
Any air war strategist could therefore predict the outcome in
conflict between the bird brains and exterminators with thoughts of
Foes of crows with shotguns, fireworks, lasers, and
recorded distress calls took the most murderous toll on crows they
could during the winter of 2005-2006, on battlefields from upstate
New York and the Philadelphia suburbs to the Rocky Mountains.
Most of the crows, however, are still there, or at least
not very far away.
Attempted parrot purges have been no more successful, even
though the entire U.S. wild parrot population is believed to be
probably about 20,000, not more than 50,000 by the highest serious
estimates. About 7,000 parrots, mostly monk parakeets and conures,
live in California, with at least 2,000 monk parakeets in Florida.
USDA Wildlife Services claimed in January that a week of
nonlethal hazing had driven all but 500 crows out of Auburn, New
York, where as many as 33,000 congregated a few weeks earlier.
Complaints about crows meanwhile erupted in Syracuse, Marcellus,
Cazenovia, and Cortland, noted Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer
John Stith.

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If only the baboon ploy helped with elephants

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 2005:

traditional head-ache for South African wildlife
officials, but environment and tourism minister
Marthinus van Schalkwyk probably wishes elephant
issues could as easily be handled.
Failing to achieve broad-based agreement
in favor of culling the Kruger National Park
elephant population at a series of consultatation
meetings in November and December 2005, South
African environment and tourism minister
Marthinus van Schalkwyk scheduled another
consultation meeting for early 2006.
Van Schalkwyk is believed to favor
culling, but only with political cover
sufficient to prevent harm to the South African
tourist industry.
Van Schalkwyk’s Cape Province counterpart avoided
a similar confrontation over baboons when
CapeNature acting chief executive Fanie Bekker
appropriated 3.5 million rand, worth about
$530,000 U.S., to hire baboon monitors.

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Axed SNAP founder Sean Hawkins starts over

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2005:

HOUSTON–Either Spay/Neuter Assistance Program founder Sean
Hawkins was fired on May 26, 2005, as the June edition of ANIMAL
PEOPLE reported, or Hawkins was still CEO, as the SNAP board
claimed in a June 6 statement.
Whichever it was, Hawkins on June 20 submitted his formal
resignation, and on July 5 announced the formation of a new charity,
Saving Animals Across Borders, to carry out a mission similar to
that of SNAP but with a stronger international emphasis.
“Based in Houston, Saving Animals will promote the adoption
of healthy dogs and cats,” Hawkins said on July 5, “and will
increase the availability of animal sterilization services, to
ultimately wipe out animal homelessness in communities where these
programs and services are not available.
“Saving Animals’ efforts in Houston will focus on building a
state-of-the-art animal sterilization, wellness, and adoption
center for animals in economically challenged families,” Hawkins
declared. “The facility will be a worldwide training center for
veterinarians and animal protection organizations, to showcase and
teach best practices and latest techniques in animal health care and

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Nonlethal bison and pigeon population control

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July/August 2003:

“The Santa Catalina Island Conservancy has given In Defense
of Animals the opportunity to adopt and relocate 100-150 bison to the
mainland,”  IDA regional director Bill Dyer announced on June 20.
“Fourteen bison were introduced to Catalina for the filming of The
Vanishing American,  starring Richard Dix,  in 1924.  The population
has grown beyond what the island can sustain.  It is imperative that
the relocation take place by August 1,  2003.  A managed colony of
100-150 bison will remain on the island.”  Dyer welcomes offers of
care-for-life homes for the bison at 310-301-7730 or

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Eradicating feral foxes from Aleutian island leaves auklets to the rats

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July/August 2003:

ANCHORAGE–Perhaps the most catastrophic consequence for
conservation yet of the U.S. federal effort to eradicate “invasive
species” from sensitive wildlife habitat is evident on Kiska Island
in the Aleutians,  touted earlier as scene of a major victory.
“In 1986,  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service eradicated
foxes from Kiska as part of a campaign to save Aleutian Canada geese
from extinction,”  Doug O’Harra of the Anchorage Daily News recounted
on July 14.  “About 49,000 beef tallow baits laced with Compound 1080
poison were dropped on the island,  killing an estimated 700 foxes”
who were introduced decades earlier by fur farmers.
“Biologists visiting the island in spring 1987 found that
Norway rats had exploded in number with the foxes gone,  the
Associated Press reported that spring.  A federal report noted the
apparent surge in rats as evidence that the foxes had been
eliminated,”  wrote O’Harra.

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Puddicome v.s. National Park Service

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2003–

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.– To the National Park Service, Santa
Barbara bus driver and Channel Islands Animal Protection Association
founder Rob Puddicombe, 52, is an eco-terrorist. Puddicome is
expected to go to trial soon for allegedly illegally feeding wildlife
and interfering with the functions of a federal agency. If
convicted, he faces up to one year in prison.
Puddicome, according to the Park Service, sailed an 11-foot
inflatable boat to Anacapa Island in October 2001 with Robert
Crawford, 40, of Goleta, and distributed at least five pounds of
Vitamin K pellets as an intended antidote to the poison the Park
Service dumped from helicopters repeatedly during 2002 to kill black

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