Recently, Oregon Public Broadcasting posted a two-part series on the challenges Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife face in protecting their threatened non-game species, like bats, amphibians and turtles.
This is a challenge that many wildlife managers face. How to fund conservation for animals the general public either fears or is apathetic toward?
Here in South Dakota, the Ring-necked Pheasant hunt brings in much-needed tourism to our state. The pheasants have had a positive effect on grassland conservation, but they are an exotic species that does compete with native grouses and partridges.
This is also an important area for migrating and breeding waterfowl. Much of the Duck Stamp money has been used to protect wetland areas. This benefits not only waterfowl, but also the arthropods, fish, native plants and amphibians that rely on wetlands.
These species that receive side benefits of these conservation actions are a rare few. Agencies will continue to face challenges in funding nongame species, especially as federal conservation funds are cut back.