Injured Wildlife

General Instructions for Dealing with Injured or Poisoned Wildlife

The handling of listed species requires a federal endangered species permit, except for employees or agents of a state or federal conservation agency who are acting in an official capacity. If you discover injured or dead wildlife, do not handle it. Call a wildlife law enforcement agent with either your state conservation agency or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for information and instructions; both should be listed in your telephone directory under government agencies.

triangle of wildlife protectionThe primary objective for sick or injured wildlife is effective treatment and care; for carcasses, the objective is preservation for proper diagnosis of the cause of death. If pesticides are suspected or known to be the cause, whether the species is endangered or not, information on pesticides known to have been used in the area will be useful: product name, EPA registration number, date of application, conditions before and after application, etc.

The Triangle of Wildlife Protection

Among the goals of society is our ambition to provide citizens with meaningful employment, appropriate food, good health, decent housing, a safe environment, and quality education. Government, industry, and the general public must approach economic productivity in a manner that is ecologically and environmentally sound. Most wildlife species do not have the luxury of moving to new habitats when exposed to pesticides. Wildlife species must adapt to changes in their habitat or cease to exist.

Diverse, healthy flora and fauna are indicators of a healthy ecosystem. It behooves each of us to take our environmental responsibilities seriously and to take all reasonable steps necessary to protect wildlife from hazards posed by pesticides.

The responsibility for ensuring that wildlife is protected from potential adverse pesticidal effects can be viewed as a triangle of wildlife protection: manufacturers, government, and the pesticide user. The manufacturer must develop products, supported by sound scientific studies, that allow for the maximum benefits of use with minimal risk to wildlife and its habitat. Local, state, and the federal governments must establish standards for pesticide use and promote research addressing wildlife contaminant issues. The pesticide user, farmer, homeowner, and professional applicator must follow pesticide label instructions and strive to apply pesticides as carefully as possible, with wildlife protection in mind. Protection and sustainability of our environmental heritage is a task requiring the support of all.


Authored by Fred Whitford, et al.

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The above information is the property of Purdue University, reprinted from Pesticides and Wildlife, PP-30. All information on authors and disclaimers relative to the use of this information can be found at that address.

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