Killing to Conserve – Is it effective, or ethical, to cull one protected species to help another?

cormorantFrom a population reduced to about 10,000 in the 1950s, California sea lion numbers have grown to nearly 390,000 since they were protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, which made it illegal to kill, or “take,” them without a permit. While most of the animals wintering on the Oregon coast stick to offshore habitat, bays, and estuaries, since 2000 a small number of sea lions, 100 or so, have been swimming 145 miles up the Columbia River, from its mouth at Astoria to Bonneville Dam, to eat upstream migrating salmon that stack up at the base of the dam and fish ladders. Some of the fish they devour are upriver spring Chinook salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Read the article here 11:25