Human Activity Displaces Predators More Than Prey. Science Daily.
Human Activity Displaces Predators More Than Prey. Science Daily.
Over the years we have heard so many times from manly-men hunters who go out into the back country with their high powered rifles, handguns, and what have you, to then come back home with tales of being scared by wolves.
A recent story comes to mind but there are many others as well.
Maybe these manly-men should take some advice from these manlier-men in Africa. 😉
Three Men vs. Fifteen Hungry Lions. [VIDEO].
BBC One – Human Planet
What is the most widespread predator in most landscapes? Dogs are, and they have important impacts to many wildlife species. From deer and elk to nesting birds to just about any species they interact with, they can be a nuisance, disease carrier, and predator.
Wildlife now dogged by man’s best friend?
by Laura Zuckerman – Reuters.
Given the quality of the rabid anti-wolf folks, it might be easy to forget that many hunters (more than 50%?) take a balanced view of animals and hunting access.
I think there is too much demonization of hunters per se on this blog. Folks should be careful to separate hunters into their various categories. Hunters are like everyone else in that their ethics, skill, and hunting interests come from how they were raised, where they were raised, how they learned to hunt, their age, their occupation and more.
Some hunters like predators, dislike ATVs. By Tom Wharton. The Salt Lake Tribune
When was the last time you heard about Wildlife Services talking about non-lethal methods of preventing livestock losses to wolves? The only place in Idaho that this is practiced is with the sheep passing through the Wood River Valley each year and by Lava Lake Land and Livestock but nowhere else has it even been talked about. In their annual reports they talk about how they want greater latitude to kill more wolves rather than try to avoid conflicts in the first place.
The Problem with Wildlife Services.
Switchboard, from NRDC :: Andrew Wetzler
After being told by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that their plan to oil the eggs of nesting pelicans amounted to an eradication program, the Idaho Fish and Game has proceeded to introduce skunks and badgers onto Gull Island in Blackfoot Reservoir to eat the eggs or harass the birds. This seems to violate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and amounts to a “taking” of migratory birds.
Gary L. Burton, Acting State Supervisor for the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Office of the USFWS, in an email states that the office “has not issued any authorizations or approvals for this release.”
We have written about this previously
Idaho F&G plan to kill pelicans hits obstacles July 1, 2009
Pelicans in Idaho versus Yellowstone Cutthroat — rare bird versus rare fish? May 16, 2009
Skunks, badgers enlisted to control Idaho pelicans
There is a battle raging in Nevada about predator control under the guise of helping deer and sage grouse. As it turns out the problem isn’t about predators but about habitat quality. For years the BLM and the ranchers have colluded in an effort to make more grass available to livestock under the guise of “habitat improvement projects” which destroy piñon/juniper forests and sagebrush needed for cover while ignoring the fact that overgrazing has eliminated essential grasses from vast areas of the landscape and greatly impacted valuable bitterbrush.
When one looks at grazing permit renewal documents from the Nevada BLM, the habitat needs of wildlife are given only cursory analysis and the BLM always makes sure that when there are problems there are never any real cuts in AUMs but only what are commonly referred to as paper cuts, or animals that aren’t really grazed. Utilization standards often allow for utilization of native perennial grasses and shrubs or half shrubs of 50% which, as with the case of blue bunch wheatgrass, often kills the plants or greatly hinders their vigor in these arid environments.
Back in December came news that mountain lions, coyotes, badgers, skunks and ravens would all be targeted in an effort to improve deer and sage grouse survival using $866,000 from the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Heritage fund. The money would have been used to fund operations of Wildlife Services. Since then Nevada Department of Wildlife has come out in opposition saying that these issues revolve around habitat issues rather than predators and that the science doesn’t justify the wanton killing of predators.
Tony Wasley, NDOW mule deer specialist, said controlling predators won’t stop the disappearance of the sagebrush-covered terrain that deer depend on in Nevada and much of the West.
“We’re talking about a landscape-scale phenomenon here,” Wasley said. “The population is limited by habitat.”
Where there is insufficient habitat, “all the predator control in the world won’t result in any benefit,” Wasley said.
Feds, Nevada officials clash over deer predator control
Reno Gazette Journal
Top predators such as wolves, lions, and jaguars play very important roles in the ecology. From control of mesopredators like coyotes and hyenas to control of ungulate populations and how they use the land.
Why top predators matter: an in-depth look at new research
Mountain lions, coyotes, badgers, skunks and ravens will all be targeted in an effort to improve deer and sage grouse survival using $866,000 from the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Heritage fund.
Rather than tackle the main issues related to sage grouse declines, livestock grazing, sagebrush killing projects, and energy developments, groups in Nevada are going after predators instead. Guess who will do the killing? Wildlife Services.
Just another subsidy to the livestock industry.
Groups target Nevada predators
JEFF DELONG – RGJ.com
“The USDA’s own statistics show that most livestock losses come from weather, disease, illness, and birthing problems, not predation.”
Wildlife Services: The Most Important Wildlife Agency You’ve Never Heard Of
Andrew Wetzler NRDC Switchboard
A study conducted in Colorado, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has become widespread among deer and elk, indicates that mountain lions prey selectively on infected individuals over healthy deer. I think that healthy populations of large carnivores like wolves and mountain lions could help slow the spread of this disease which has been found in a moose near Wyoming’s petri dish elk feed grounds. It has been shown that chronic wasting disease can bind to the soils and infect an area indefinitely exposing generations of cervids to this protein virus or prion.
It is possible that CWD has already infected Wyoming’s feed grounds since it may go unnoticed. Testing for CWD is usually done on brain tissue obtained from deer and elk that have been killed by hunters.
Mountain lions prey selectively on prion-infected mule deer
Caroline E. Krumm, Mary M. Conner, N. Thompson Hobbs, Don O. Hunter and Michael W. Miller
‘Leopard Behind You!’ By Olivia Judson. “The Wild Side” in the New York Times.
Loss of top predators causing surge in smaller predators, ecosystem collapse. Oregon State University news lease on research by Dr. William Ripple.
My comments . . .
Although in a few places such as Idaho and Montana large predators like wolves and grizzly bears are being increased against formidable political resistance, the worldwide trend is for them to disappear and be replaced by a larger number of medium sized or smaller predators.
Most people don’t understand that predators will never disappear, nor will parasites, etc. Human pressure to exterminate them shifts the advantage to another animal that tends to fill that ecological niche, although often with many unanticipated and undesirable side effects.
Bill McKibben reviews “Where the Wild Things Were: Life, Death, and Ecological Wreckage in a Land of Vanishing Predators” by William Stolzenburg for the Boston Globe.
Felice Pace argues that fear of predators in the rural West is real due to constant propaganda. Wolf Tales. Goat, a High Country News blog.
I think Pace is right. Based on my long experience in Idaho, while there are those who stand out in any community, faint-heartedness seems to be the norm in many “Old West” rural communities . It’s just pathetic! And it is these people who say they are tired of “Easterners” (who seem to be everyone outside their community) telling them what to do.