Letters to the Editor

Firearms contribute to wildlife loss

The eastern gorilla has been listed as critically endangered, making four of the six great ape species only one step away from extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species, released in September.
The eastern gorilla has been listed as critically endangered, making four of the six great ape species only one step away from extinction, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Endangered Species, released in September. Associated Press

Another cause of wildlife loss

Re “New study links industrialization with accelerating wildlife losses” (Insight, Nov. 23): It is baffling to me how the scientists who compiled all the data linking the beginning of wildlife loss to 123 years ago could have missed one obvious cause. The availability and lethality of firearms that the average person could obtain and use for sport hunting and poaching for profit began about that very same time.

We know that the American passenger pigeon was wiped out by firearms, that the American bison, which used to number in the millions, was reduced to 400, and that the Bengal tiger is on the verge of extinction, as are mountain gorillas, and that elephants and rhinos are being slaughtered wholesale for their ivory and horns.

Humans have drastically affected the survivability of various species, but the cause is not just industrialization and climate change.

Gene Cirillo, Gold River

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