Thursday, December 31, 2015
"Black Bear Feasting On Deer" video for you to enjoy on this New Years Day.......See the 3rd Post to get more information about how Black Bears in California are regularly usurping Puma Black Tail Deer kills--and what Pumas have to do to acquire enough food when the Bears are active Spring, Summer and Fall
Posted by Rick Meril at 7:08 PM
"Puma Kitten Feeding At Sunset" ---Enjoy this new video by clicking on the picture or the title wording
Posted by Rick Meril at 7:04 PM
We know that Grizzly Bears often usurp the kills of Wolves and Pumas when the three species exist in the same locale........New research over the past year reveals that Black Bears in California regularly steal Black tail Deer kills made by Pumas..........In fact, Pumas have to nearly double their kill of deer during Spring, Summer and Fall when Bears are active so as to get the nutrients they need to survive (Allen et al. 2014)...............Whereas Pumas will "patrol " higher ground when sympatric with Wolves(to avoid Wolves stealing their kills), "no matter in which habitat pumas killed ungulates, bears located and usurped the puma kills (Elbroch et al. 2015)"............ "This suggests that spatial refuges from bears do not exist, and thus, it is likely that the seasonal refuge, when bears are hibernating, is the only refuge from bear scavenging and competition for pumas"
Posted by Rick Meril at 6:59 PM
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Good to see some "science" coming forward to challenge the intense Wolf killing quotas that Idaho and Montana(and up to a year ago) Wyoming have(had) in place...........Fourteen carnivore biologists including Montana State's Scott Creel say what so many of us have instinctively felt was "faulty math" as it relates to what the three Rocky Mountain State Game Commissions have been claiming about the size of their wolf populations-------“The data shows that survival and reproduction has gone down while population has gone up,” Creel said. “That’s an impossible result".............
New study questions wolf hunting policies
Group of carnivore biologists casts doubt on state managers’ conclusions, goals.
BRADLY J. BONER / NEWS&GUIDE FILe
Fourteen carnivore biologists have published a paper questioning the sustainability of wolf hunting in the northern Rocky Mountains.
POSTED: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2015 4:30 AM
By Mike Koshmrl | 0 comments
A new academic paper in the journal Science questions whether ecological theory and sound data are playing a role in determining wolf hunting seasons in the northern Rockies.
The paper, written by an international group of 14 carnivore biologists, argues that current wolf hunting pressure is not sustainable and that the accuracy of population estimates are not reliable. The authors also call for the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to set clearly defined policy goals.
“We feel it’s time for targets to be defined more explicitly,” Montana State University ecology professor Scott Creel, the study’s lead author, said in an interview. “Right now we don’t really know what the numeric goal is. It’s not stated.
“We know there’s a goal to avoid relisting under the Endangered Species Act — all three states want to avoid that,” he said. “But is that it? ... If that is the goal, what is the ecological justification for that? It’s certainly understandable that there’s probably a social argument they’re responding to there, but is that really the goal in regard to wildlife ecology?”
Wolf hunting is allowed in Montana and Idaho, but in Wyoming hunts have been put on hold by a Washington, D.C., judge’s decision.
The Equality State is home to the smallest wolf population of the three states, and here wildlife managers have openly sought to hold numbers a safe distance from but as close as possible to the now-void delisting agreement: 150 animals. Wyoming’s statewide population, which hasn’t been hunted for 15 months, was last estimated at 333 animals.
In Idaho and Montana, where at the beginning of 2015 there were an estimated 1,324 wolves, goals have been more vague. The populations in those two states are several times the recovery goals and are hunted and trapped intensively.
Creel and his co-authors criticize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for considering Idaho’s counting methodology a sound way of assessing the “absolute minimum number of wolves alive.”
“In Idaho, which holds the largest segment of the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment, tabulated counts are adjusted by substituting mean pack size for smaller pack counts that might have been incomplete (74 percent of packs in 2013) and then multiplying the adjusted counts by 1.125 to account for unseen wolves suspected to be living outside of packs,” the Science paper says.
“Consequently,” the paper says, “the Idaho estimate is (approximately) 1.75 times the number of individuals known to be alive, and the biggest increase in the minimum estimated Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment occurred in 2006 with the adoption of this method.”
Mike Jimenez, Fish and Wildlife’s Northern Rocky Mountain wolf coordinator, said he appreciated the academic critique.
“Having people challenge management policy — hunting — that’s a healthy thing,” Jimenez said.
“Having said that,” he said, “one of the critiques that I would offer back is that a lot of the article uses data from annual reports, and the data from annual reports is not research-quality data at all.”
Jimenez used Idaho as an example. He said Idaho managers have purposely curtailed surveillance of breeding pairs once it’s known that there are more than 15, the minimum in the delisting agreement.
Creel and his co-authors, Jimenez said, falsely assumed the lower numbers of breeding pairs of wolves in the reports meant a lower number of breeding pairs in the wild.
Jimenez also defended hunting as a central component to management.
“Think of wolves in Canada and Alaska. They’ve never not been hunted,” Jimenez said. “So did that same conclusion work there?
“I would say the questions [they pose] are very good to ask,” he said. “Their conclusions also need to be challenged and asked questions about.”
Posted by Rick Meril at 10:13 PM
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Good to see that North Dakota State biologist Stephanie Tucker is acknowledging that the annual survival rate of Pumas is only between 42 and 48%, far lower than the minimum 70% necessary to assure long term persistence.........As a basis of comparison, annual Puma survival rates in Utah are about 69%, in Washington and Oregon about 59%.............It is fascinating to note that no one in the North Dakota Game and Fish Dept can tell you how many Pumas actually call the state home.......Here is what their 2014-15 Mountain Lion status report concluded about the population there......"Verified reports(of Pumas) in only 8% of counties"..... "Not surprisingly, we verified the largest number of reports in Dunn (n = 12) and McKenzie (n = 19) counties(western end of state), which have the highest proportion of suitable habitat for mountain lions (NDGFD 2006)"............. The number of reports of mountain lion occurrence we documented from 1 July 2014-30 June 2015 was 27% lower than the previous fiscal year"............ "External and internal examination of mountain lion carcasses indicated mountain lions in North Dakota are generally healthy"....................... "The sex ratio of all mountain lion carcasses we have examined to date in North Dakota (n = 164) was 1.4 females per male and mean age was 2.5 ± 2.3 (𝑥̅± SD) years"............. "In comparison, the sex ratio of mountain lion carcasses examined from 1 July 2014-30 June 2015 was 0.5 females per male and age was 2.4 ± 1.6 years"............ "Report and population trends indicate that the number of mountain lions found in Zone 1(western end of state) has been on the decline for the past 3 years"....... "This concurs with results from our research over the past 4 years, which suggests that survival rates for radio-collared mountain lions in Zone 1 are below the amount needed to sustain current numbers (Wilckens 2014)".............. "Wilckens (2014) also suggests that the late-season hunting quota should be the focus when trying to manage mountain lion numbers". .............."Therefore, it appears we have reached and possibly surpassed the number of mountain lions that can be hunted sustainably on an annual level"............Ok, so stop hunting them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We shouldn’t deplete lion population
December 28, 2015 2:00 am
Posted by Rick Meril at 10:25 PM
Monday, December 28, 2015
While most Americans born in the USA up through 1990(prior to our most recent immigration surge) have some recollection of the Lewis & Clark Expedtion across what is now our western states, most of us are unaware or at the very least very vague about the numerous surveys and journals kept of of the fauna, flora and Native Americans of the southwest, Rockies, Northwest and California that were kept by numerous soldiers, frontiersmen, and trappers traversing the region post 1806, just as the Lewis & Clark "crew" were returning from their odyssey ......For your independent study of this subject over the course of the New Year ahead, I have posted two excellent links to get you pointed in the right direction,,,,,,,,,,,,,First hand journals always shed a new light on the great "storehouse of life" that existed across our great Country prior to European colonization, providing a potential blueprint for rewilding efforts that many of us would like to see implemented over the decades ahead
Posted by Rick Meril at 9:09 PM