SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, Calif. - Norm Macdonald rises each morning with the sun, grabs his .223-caliber rifle and slips into the passenger seat of a tiny, doorless helicopter for another day of shooting pigs.
As the chopper skims over rugged terrain, Macdonald scans dozens of simple fence traps he's set up for the thousands of wild swine that have overrun this Southern California island.
When there are pigs in the traps - and there always are - Macdonald leans out and pumps two bullets into each animal: One for the heart and one for the head.
Each pig's death brings conservationists one step closer to their goal of saving the tiny Santa Cruz fox, an endangered species found only on this 96-square-mile island off Santa Barbara. Experts believe it's the best way to mend the island's delicate ecological web, which was torn when domesticated pigs escaped from now-abandoned ranches as early as the 1850s.
The National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy are paying $5 million to pump lead into the pigs. They plan to take more than two years to kill the estimated 3,000 pigs while using trained dogs, infrared sensing devices, and radio trackers.
Naturally, animal rights advocates are outraged and have asked for an explanation. In response, Lotus Vermeer, the pig-killing project director, stated, "It's not just about killing pigs, it's about saving a native species. What we're choosing to do here is save biodiversity."
So, there you have it. Darwinism is trumped by diversity. The minority rules and political correctness dictates policy in the natural world. Curiously, diversity has become justification for eliminating opposing viewpoints.
Companion post at Interested-Participant.