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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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Monday, August 7, 2017

As you go to the northern reaches of Los Angeles County, California, you come across the magnificent Teton Ranch..............While much of this ranch has been saved as a wildlife preserve, it does harbor non native feral hogs.............Domestic Hogs that escaped the "pen" and have gone feral since the Gold Rush period (circa 1850), the hogs have proliferated to the point of pest status, ripping up riparian and chaparral woodlands as they dig for foodstuffs.............Tough critters the hogs are with very few predators to keep them in check................Good to know that the Black Bears that roam this region will pursue and kill a percentage of piglets each year(adult pigs usually are too difficult for Bears and Pumas to kill).................Once again, the video inside the link below might be found unsettling for the feint of heart as the Bear captures the squealing piglet and carries it away.................No different than what goes on in our slaughrerhouses when we kill pigs for food....................Unfortunately, not enough Bears and Pumas to truly dent the Boar population and therefore it appears that our local natural system will continue to lack optimum biological diversity as the pigs go about being "pigs"


Camera trap films bear hunting invasive wild piglets

Camera trap films bear hunting invasive wild piglets

When bears stray onto ranches and farms to look for their next meal, it's usually a recipe for human-wildlife conflict. But over at California's Tejon Ranch Conservancy, it seems humans and bears have a common goal. 
Camera traps set up by conservancy biologist Ben Teton recently captured a few short but intense seconds of footage showing a female black bear on the hunt. The cameras form part of a long-term study of invasive wild pigs at the ranch, and while watching the hunt unfold makes for some grim viewing (we strongly advise sensitive viewers to give it a miss), for biologists like Tenton, the encounter holds important lessons about native ecology.

The bear can be seen pursuing a group of wild piglets that had been wallowing in a nearby stream. The animals' distress calls quickly alert the lead sow, the matriarch of the group, who then attempts to fight off the bear in order to save the young.
"It is unclear if [the sow] was successful in this rescue attempt, but it is important to appreciate how valuable a kill like that would be for the bear, particularly during the dry summer months when food is scarce," says the Tejon Ranch team in a Facebook update.
While black bear diets lean strongly towards the vegetarian, these opportunistic eaters will occasionally go after prey like young deer or moose calves. Catching them mid-hunt, however, is rare. "It is extremely rare to capture a predation event of any kind within the small frame of a trap camera, and an event as dramatic and illuminating as this is almost unheard of," says the team.

Tejon Ranch is home to an array of wildlife, including some threatened and protected species, but its herds of invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are having a detrimental effect on local ecosystems. The animals likely found their way here decades ago from a neighbouring farm, and have been multiplying ever since.  
"We typically use social media to promote the beauty and majesty of our local California wildlife and have been reluctant to post such a potentially disturbing video that so explicitly reveals this predator-prey relationship in action," adds the team. "However, we think it is important to appreciate the full reality, both light and dark."

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