Animal Rights Activist’s Expert Credentials Exposed: The Public Is Being Misled

By Anthony P. Mauro

Snake Oil Wild Life Managment
Animal Rights Activist’s Expert Credentials Exposed: The Public Is Being Misled
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance

TRENTON, NJ –-( I’m still receiving questions about NJOA release “Animal rights activists: New wrapping but the same old mission.”

Yesterday we showed that local animal activists listed no professional credentials in the key areas of wildlife biology, ecology, environmental studies, wildlife management, and physical sciences.

Now we are being asked to provide the credentials of two PhD’s that the animal rights groups provide the media to support their anti-hunting agenda. The results may surprise you.

The two names provided are Edward A. Tavss, PhD. (listed as Instructional Faculty at Rutgers University) and Lynn Rogers, biologist, Ph.D.

Here’s what we’ve found:

Edward Tvass’ PhD has a doctorate in physical-organic chemistry. His degree is not in wildlife biology, ecology, environmental studies, or wildlife management. He is listed as “Instructional Faculty” on the Rutgers University website.

One definition of physical-organic chemistry is “the study of the relationship between structure and reactivity of organic molecules.”

Edward A. Tavss, PhD
Edward A. Tavss, PhD

Some of us may be confused as to whether all PhD’s are experts and qualified in all fields of science. A simple parallel would be to use a quote from a podiatrist (branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity) for his opinion on matters that are clearly the expertise of a cardiologist (a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels). Both may be PhD’s but their backgrounds and expertise are in two completely different areas.

Most of us understand that we should rely on a cardiologist for matters of the heart and the podiatrist for matters of the foot. We should also rely on the expertise of the black bear biologist for matters related to black bears and rely on the physical-organist chemist for matters related to organic molecules.

In addition to Dr. Tavss’ field of expertise being unrelated to wildlife management, his study on black bears does not appear to have been subjected to any scholarly peer review by PhD’s in wildlife management and black bear biology. Peer review “requires a community of experts in a narrowly defined field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Peer review is generally considered essential to academic quality, and used in most important scientific publications.”

Lynn Rogers, biologist, Ph.D.

While Dr. Rogers has a long history of work with black bears his credibility is being question by wildlife officials. In fact, just this year, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources denied a permit to Rogers for continuing research using radio collars on black bears.

The DNR cited “…concerns about public safety, conduct that it considered unprofessional, and questions about the validity of Rogers’ research, including his failure to publish enough peer-reviewed research.”

The story also reports, “He [Rogers] had over the years engendered criticism by wildlife officials and residents of the area around Ely, where he’s conducted his studies and runs the North American Bear Center. He not only abused his bears, but they lost their fear of humans after hand-feeding and were biting neighbors, a boy and research participants, the DNR has said in court papers.”

Story at the following link:

Socalled biologist Lynn Rogers hand feeding wild bears
Lynn Rogers not only abused his bears, but they lost their fear of humans after hand-feeding and were biting neighbors, a boy and research participants, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has said in court papers

To summarize, it appears that the opinions of experts being used by animal rights activists and the media to substantiate an anti-hunting approach to black bear population management (and deer management) are either outside their field of expertise, have not had their work peer reviewed, or have been criticized for failure to publish enough peer-reviewed research.

The end result is that the public is being misled and the impact could be compromise the health of wildlife and put public safety at risk. It’s up to sportsmen, sportswomen, and conservationists to make the public aware of this issue.

Anthony P. Mauro
Sr. Chairman,
New Jersey Outdoor Alliance: “We’ve got your back!”


NJOA – The mission of New Jersey Outdoor Alliance is to serve as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to environmental stewardship. We will champion the intrinsic value of natural resource conservation – including fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders and policy makers. We will support legislation, and those sponsoring legislation, that provides lasting ecological and social enrichment through sustainable use of the earths resources. Visit:

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Thank you for this information. Funny thing about Rogers . . . he was working with black bears in Wisconsin several years ago, and our PBS affiliates covered his research often on outdoors programming, like Outdoor Wisconsin. I am not any kind of expert in wildlife biology, but there was “something” about his activities featured on the show that struck me oddly, hard to say how, just something. I know I felt that he treated these bears like pets, but I thought that might have been just for the TV audience . . . Anyway, it’s been many years since… Read more »