Friday, March 07, 2008

The Latest From the Natural World

Let's see: first, I see that the Alberta government has decided that wolves should be killed in order to save the elk and moose and deer that are having trouble because of habitat loss.

Did the Japanese take a shot at Paul Watson? They say no, but then again, they insist that what they do they do for science, even if they quite brazenly kill whatever happens to be in range.

The big one, of course, is that James Lovelock quite cheerfully believes that the human race will be reduced by about 80% by the year 2100, and that we'll be lucky if we'll have 20 years before "it hits the fan." Of course, he likely won't be here then. Me, I likely don't disagree with him, but I sure need to try to stave off the inevitable.


Oh, those *(&^%$!X! idiots!! I was working for BC Fish & Wildlife in the middle of the damn wolf kill back in the 80s and hated it, protested it, was ignored completely. I think the upshot was (unofficially, of course) that the kill program didn't work, but did that stop them? No.

So now they're doing the same thing in Alberta. Damn them all. Damn damn damn them all. Just let nature take its course, for chrissake. Things will balance, just as they always have for thousands of years -- all without our "help."
Well, nature can't take its course when you keep destroying nature, you know. As long as rapacious development is the norm, you'll have too many wolves.

Members of the deer family (with the exception, in this case, of caribou) are weed-like species, some to greater levels than others. If THEY run into trouble, it's not because of wolves. Think of them as canaries in the mine and figure out a sensible reaction to that.

Too many deer means a good year for wolves, resulting in fewer deer, but this doesn't mean that there will be too many wolves the following year, because the alpha pair controls the breeding in the pack.

In good years, the pack is allowed to grow freely; in lean years, the alphas are the only pair to produce pups. In really bad years, the pack won't have any pups at all, and the old and sick wolves die off. They maintain their own natural balance.

As for the deer, around here they've got bigger problems than wolves (or coyotes): chronic wasting disease. It's so bad, even extra hunting doesn't make a dent in it. Fish & Wildlife recently went out in helicopters and shot everything that moved, sick or healthy.

You've got "too many wolves" in your area? Ship 'em down here; we could use a few.
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