Wildlife Watch, Inc.
is an animal protection organization that educates the public about the
mismanagement of wildlife by state and federal wildlife agencies, and the
destruction of wildlife and ecosystems in the name of sport hunting and
game management. On behalf of our more than two-thousand members and
supporters throughout the state of Michigan, we wish to make it known that
the bill put forth by State Representative Susan Tabor which would
legalize mourning dove hunting is dangerous and should not be voted into
Since 1905, mourning
doves have enjoyed protection from hunters under state law, and this most
cherished of Michigan's songbirds has been for more than 5,000 years an
internationally recognized symbol of peace. There are no legitimate
reasons to use these birds as little more than moving targets, since they
are truly as benign as any species can be. Mourning doves eat seeds that
would grow into unsightly weeds, pose no threat to other species or plant
crops, and regulate their own population very efficiently without the
interference of man.
Over the past 37
years, hunting has contributed to the significant declines in mourning
dove populations that have been recorded in the Eastern, Central and
Western Management Units which comprise the states where mourning dove
hunting is legal. (Dolton, D.D., and R.D. Holmes. 2002. Mourning dove
population status, 2002. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Laurel, Maryland.
30 pp.) Michigan does not need to add to these infamous statistics.
A similar bill to
legalize dove hunting in New York was defeated with help by the telephone
company. Mourning doves like to sit on the phone wires and AT&T could
foresee the result if the bill had passed.
We join the Lansing
State Journal and millions of Michigan residents and stand in opposition
to this bill what so clearly panders to violent special interest groups.
Surely Representative Tabor must have more important things to do than
lobby for the passage of a bill that will encourage the destruction of
Wildlife Watch, Inc.
P.O. Box 562
New Paltz, NY 12561