Thursday, April 28, 2016
Chris Spatz of COUGAR REWILDING emailed me the information below about the fact that Pumas are not dire threats to humans when they share the landscape with us................. As our good friend, biologist John Laundre saids: "Pumas are "the safest neighbors" when living around humans,,,,,,,-becoming very habituated to staying out of our way.............This fact is backed up with certainty by "the telemetry data from U.Calif.Santa Cruz's Puma Project, demonstrating how San Francisco area Pumas do their utmost to avoid encounters with us human animals............Scroll down John's note below to discover other sources that you can reference regarding "Refreshing displays of wild felid coexistence disarming the dystopian habituation fantasy"
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:47 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Do any of us stop to think about why we have a tendency to put our wildlife that we have systematically destroyed on our State Seals, Flags and the like?...............Now, it appears that the Feds are going to anoint Bison as our National Animal...........Better that our lawmakers buy up land and rewild Bison and it's "millenia old dance partner, the Gray Wolf ............Agreed?
House votes to designate bison as America's national mammal
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:27 PM
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Whether it be Mule Deer populations in the Dakota's or Whitetail's in the East, weather-weather-weather followed by habitat-habitat-habitat quality are the key determinants of how large or small a state's herd will be..........Predation by Bears, Wolves(where existing), Coyotes, Pumas, Bobcats, Lynx is a factor but rarely a dampening factor unless horribly cold and snowy conditions are persistent over a series of Winters............In addition, predation is rarely a dampening factor on ungulate herds unless the quantity, quality and connectivity of the herds habitat is eroded by our man made roads, buildings, drilling, etc, etc, etc................Since the demise of the Mega-Fauna predator and prey matrix some 10,000 years ago, the modern,multiple predator suite that we know today(bears/wolves pumas et al. previously mentioned) has co-existed in rough equilibrium(except where we tamper extensively) with a multiple hoofed browser suite(Deer/Elk/Moose/Bison/Caribou)................There should be no reflexive actions by State Game Agencies to decimate predators because of the periodic tough Winter.............Best they be acquiring more habitat and rehabilitating existing lands for all our predator and prey to thrive within......................Our great mid 20th Century Naturalist, Aldo Leopold, said it best--------"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land"............ … "Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left".................... "That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm"............. "The land is one organism"......................."I personally believed, at least in 1914 when predator control began, that there could not be too much horned game, and that the extirpation of predators was a reasonable price to pay for better big game hunting"...................... "Some of us have learned since the tragic error of such a view, and acknowledged our mistake".................. "One must judge from the present volume that the Fish and Wildlife Service does not see any mistake"
North Dakota Spring Mule Deer Survey Up 21%
by Doug Leier
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:42 PM
Monday, April 25, 2016
Wood Bison, the larger of the two Bison species(Plains Bison, the other) are down to 2500 animals in Canada's Northwest Territories.................As a result, the Territories SPECIES AT RISK COMMITTEE have labeled them "threatened and in need of protection.............Disease, habitat shrinkage and predation synergizing to dampen this struggling species.........Historically, the range of the wood bison was generally north of that occupied by the plains bison and included most boreal regions of northern Alberta; northeastern British Columbia; a small portion of northwestern Saskatchewan; the western Northwest Territories; most of the Yukon Territory; and much of interior Alaska......................... During the early 1800s, wood bison numbers were estimated at 168,000 in Canada, but by the late 1800s, the subspecies was nearly eliminated with only a few hundred remaining
Wood bison now a 'threatened' N.W.T. species
Species-at-risk committee finds only 2,500 remain in the territory
By Guy Quenneville, CBC News Posted: Apr 24, 2016 6:00 AM CT
Better drive with extra care when you see a wood bison on the side of a highway in the Northwest Territories: the burly beasts have joined Western toads, boreal caribou and polar bears on the territory's list of species at risk.
Once found abundantly across the western portion
of the NorthWest Territories, Plains Bison are shrinking in #'s
An independent committee announced Friday that the remaining 2,500 wood bison in the territory should now be considered a threatened species.
"The numbers are not that high," said Dr. Suzanne Carrière, an alternate chairperson for the N.W.T. Species at Risk Committee, an independent body of experts that reassess the biological statuses of various species.
"We do have wood bison in the thousands, but they do have quite the possibility to disappear in our children's lifetime [and] should be accounted for."
Increased predation, disease to blame
The new label for wood bison comes as a result of "population decline in the last three bison generations and the cumulative effect of threats such as disease, increased predation, human-caused mortality and various factors contributing to the loss of wood bison habitat," according to a statement issued by the committee.
The committee rates the status of species on a seven-category scale, with the highest category branding a species as "extinct."
At "threatened," wood bison fall squarely on the middle of that scale.
According to the committee, the Northwest Territories are home to 32 per cent of the global population of wood bison. The animal once roamed the majority of the territory's western region.
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:39 PM
Sunday, April 24, 2016
We learned two weeks back that Wolverines in the lower 48 might catch a break and be put on the Endangered Speices List..............The key reason that the Federal Judge overrode the USFW previous decision not to list the GULOS is warming temperatures and the adverse impact this will likely have on female Wolverines building snow dens to birth and wean their pups...............Now, WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY scientists are going to work up in Alaska studying this very issue---How will warming termperatures impact this Carnivore
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:29 PM
The STATES ISLANDS that abut Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada are home to some 100 Caribou............They are descendants of Caribou that crossed Winter Ice Bridges in 1907...........In 1980, eight Caribou were transplanted from the STATES to MICHIPICOTEN Island, 81 miles to the southeast................Today, 300 of the animals exist with a small Wolf Pack of two males and one female........These three Wolves seem to find the Beaver on the island easier and more nutritiousto kill and eat(Beaver contain more calories and fat per pound than caribou) and accordingly, have only killed several of the Caribou to date.............Biologist Brent Patterson of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has been studying the Caribou/Wolf/Beaver ecosystem dynamic on the island will have an interesting number of years ahead answering questions such as-------- If the wolves successfully breed and expand their numbers, will Caribou indeed start to become a dietary staple of the expanded pack(s)?..............With warming temperatures, is it unlikely that any additional wolves will make it to the Island via an ice bridge, thus putting the current triad of wolves in an eventual in-breeding paradigm that will sink their numbers in the same fashion currently playing out in Isle Royale, Michigan?..........As Caribou are easier to kill than Moose, is the topography of the Island so horizontally and vertically dense with vegetation that Caribou will be successful in keeping away from the Wolves even if an increased Pack(Packs) populate the land?..............Indeed, a fascinating predator and Prey laboratory mosaic about to become even more complex and intriguing on this Lake Superior Island
Posted by Rick Meril at 8:32 AM