February 11, 2009
Sidney, B.C. – Wildlife advocates urged eBay to halt the sale of trophy hunts of grizzly and brown bears, black bears, wolves, cougars and other predators on its website.The wildlife groups, Raincoast, Big Wildlife and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance (AWA) , said the online auction and shopping website – known more for its sales of doll collections and used appliances – regularly permits postings of guided trophy hunts of large predators throughout the U.S., Canada, and abroad. In a February 11, 2009 letter to eBay CEO John Donahoe, the groups wrote the “company’s promotion of hunting these animals is adding to the many threats these species face.”
- “Have the lives of Canada’s grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores become so cheapened by the purveyors of trophy hunting that selling an opportunity to kill one is now as commonplace as trying to unload a kitchen appliance or baseball cards on eBay?” said Chris Genovali, Executive Director of the British Columbia based Raincoast Conservation.
eBay announced a global ban last year on sales of ivory products after an International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) report revealed the online auction site was helping to fuel illegal trade in wildlife products. While Raincoast, Big Wildlife and AWA said they were encouraged by eBay’s ban on ivory, but a recent review of the eBay website found hunting sales complete with photos of grizzlies and other carnivores killed for trophies (links below).
“Most people visit eBay to buy vintage dolls, used camera or lawn furniture. Few eBay users know the company also auctions off the lives of some of our planet’s most magnificent carnivores. eBay has become an online marketplace peddling the slaughter of wolves, bears and cougars,” said Brian Vincent, Big Wildlife’s Communication Director.
The wildlife advocates said expansive trophy hunting of top predators ignores the importance these species play in natural systems. For instance top predators help regulate the food web, sustain ecological integrity and preserve species diversity. Their disappearance triggers changes in abundance of other species and the intricate connections among the remaining residents can unravel.
The groups have been working to end trophy hunting of grizzly and brown bears in British Columbia and Alaska. The bears face threats from habitat loss, declining salmon, mortality from trophy hunting, poaching, and international trade in bear parts. In 2007, a record 430 grizzlies were killed in BC. Close to 1,500 brown and grizzly bears are killed annually in Alaska. Some of these bears are shot in the Katmai National Preserve, one of the premier bear viewing areas in the world. “The same is true in BC” said Genovali. “The spring grizzly hunt is only seven weeks away and bears and wolves can be legally shot for sport in our provincial parks and protected areas”.