Unnamed Resolution concerning Hunting of Kaibab Squirrels

WHEREAS, the Kaibab squirrel, Sciurus kaibabensis Merriam, is a rare and beautiful sciurid whose present range, approximately 200,000 acres in extent, lies entirely within the ponderosa pine forests of the Kaibab Plateau of Arizona; and

WHEREAS, the magnitude of the existing population is unknown, and the techniques for making reliable estimates of the population have yet to be standardized; and

WHEREAS, a knowledge of the behavior and basic biology of this squirrel is fragmentary, and totally inadequate to predict with accuracy the effect of hunting on the survival of this unique form; and

WHEREAS, the Kaibab squirrel occurs wholly on lands of the Federal Government and only 10% of its range lies within the inviolate sanctuary of the Grand Canyon National Park, and 90% is in the Kaibab National Forest which is subject to being opened to hunting by the Commissioners of the Arizona Game and Fish Department without the approval of the National Forest Service; and

WHEREAS, the welfare and survival of the Kaibab squirrel is of great interest and concern of thousands of citizens of this nation who recognize the species as an irreplaceable member of our Southwestern fauna; and

WHEREAS, it is well known that populations which have reached a low level can actually continue their decline to extinction even in the absence of any hunting pressure and in spite of man's best efforts to preserve them; and

WHEREAS, it is known that a species becomes more wary and loses much of its value as a natural part of the fauna, as a resource for science and as a tourist attraction when it is hunted for sport; now

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists is opposed to opening a season for hunting the Kaibab squirrel until thorough and long-range studies of the biology of this unique form have been completed which demonstrate without question that hunting will not jeopardize in any way the survival of this squirrel; and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED, that should an open season be declared for hunting this species before the aforementioned studies are complete that the Secretary of Agriculture be requested to prohibit access by hunters to those areas occupied by the Kaibab squirrel and that the Congress of the United States be memorialized to place the Kaibab squirrel under its protection as a species of national interest; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be sent to the Governor of Arizona, the Director and Members of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, to the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior and to the Chief of the Forest Service and to the Director of the National Parks Service.