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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Outside of Colorado where they seem to be thriving, Moose populations across the USA are suffering from warming temperatures, winter tick infestations and deer brain disease..............In British Columbia, Canada, an outbreak of the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic is the root cause of Moose declines..............Vunerability of moose is increasing due either to the change in habitat (dead trees) or to increased salvage logging (removal of cover) or to the change in access associated with salvage logging (more roads)................In other words, vast clearcuts leave moose exposed on the landscape to human and wild predators.............. A proliferation of logging roads has made it easier for hunters on motorized vehicles to get at them...............Should temperatures continue to warm bringing more ticks and deer disease, a Moose extirpation event could be the result

Pine beetle epidemic bringing down

 moose numbers

Sun Exclusive: Report suggests declines tied to 

salvage logging, which eliminates cover and 

increases road access

The "most plausible" explanation for a serious decline
 in moose populations in the Cariboo is the mountain
 pine beetle epidemic, especially the large-scale salvage
 logging that followed, a report for the B.C. government finds.

The consultant's report said the "vulnerability of moose
could have increased due either to the change in habitat
 (dead trees) or to increased salvage logging
(removal of cover) or to the change in access associated
 with salvage logging (more roads)."

In other words, vast clearcuts left moose exposed on the
 landscape - to human and wild predators - and a
 proliferation of logging roads made it easier for hunters
on motorized vehicles to get at them.

The Vancouver Sun obtained a copy of the report by
 Wildlife Infometrics of Mackenzie through a freedom-
of-information request. While the lodgepole pine clearcuts
 made it easier for all hunters, the report singles out unregulated hunting, which includes First Nations, who are not obliged to
report kills and are not restricted by the number, sex or age
of the moose they take.

Because the government reduced the number of allowable
 hunts and because cows and calves also declined - not just
bulls taken by licensed hunters - it is likely that the "unsustainable portion of mortality must come from either unregulated hunting
 or natural sources," the report concluded.

Researchers cautioned that they struggled with a lack of
information and urged the province to increase monitoring,
 including the "collection of basic inventory" data and research
 designed specially to improve understanding of moose mortality

The vast Cariboo extends approximately from Clinton north to
 Quesnel and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park east to the
 Cariboo Mountains.
"It's fairly clear we can't put a finger on a particular cause or
 a smoking gun," said Rodger Stewart, director of resource
 management in the Cariboo for the Ministry of Forests,
Lands and Natural Resource Operations. He said that the
 leading factor may even change from one ecosystem type
 to another, adding that limited-entry hunting opportunities
 for bull moose for non-natives residents have been cut by
about one-third in the region. Guided hunts are also down.
Stewart said that the ministry has good information on local
moose-population trends but lacks the sort of detail that can
 link a population decline to, say, a specific activity such as
 increased logging roads across a larger landscape.

The province is working with Chilcotin First Nations to get a
better handle on moose kills, and is funding trapper education
 among natives to reduce the number of wolves in the region.

Moose is a critical biggame species for natives and non-natives
 alike in the Cariboo, typically generating 140 to 200 kilograms
 of meat each. "It certainly has an icon status," said Stewart
, who also hunts the species. "It's been the bread and butter
 ... for a long time."

B.C.'s pine-beetle epidemic began in the 1990s, but it wasn't
until 2001 that the province began ramping up the annual
 allowable cut in a failed attempt to arrest its progress.

In 2004, Gordon Campbell's Liberal government replaced
the Forest Practices Code with the Forest and Range Practices
 Act. The act limited clearcuts to 60 hectares in the Interior, but
did not apply to beetle salvage logging - which had no upper limit.Salvage clear-cutting is not restricted to dead pine trees,
but takes healthy, more commercially valuable species of trees
 with greater biological importance.

The province estimates the mountain pine beetle has killed a
total of 723 million cubic metres of timber across 18.3 million
 hectares - an area more than five times the size of Vancouver

The Sun reported in 2012 that surveys by the province over
 the previous two winters have discovered serious moose
declines: A 70-per-cent drop since 1997 in the 5,000-
squarekilometre Nass Wildlife Area near Terrace.A 50-
per-cent drop since 2005 around Prince George.
A 20-per-cent drop since 2004 in the Bulkley Valley-Lakes
 District in west-central B.C.

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