By James Beers:
Dingoes, wolves, coyotes and dogs are all Canids. The name Canid comes from the Genus name Canis. All four of these animals are called species within the Genus Canis: Dingoes (Canis dingo); Wolves (Canis lupus); Coyotes (Canis latrans); and Dogs (Canis familiaris) but that identification of these as four “species” is misleading.
Species is a term that historically referred to animals with similar characteristics and the ability to freely interbreed and produce viable offspring. For instance, horses and mules are similar and do interbreed but their offspring are infertile and thus horses and mules are separate species. Our four “species” however (dingoes, wolves, coyotes and dogs) share similar characteristics, interbreed freely, and produce viable offspring. A dingo (despite their absence outside Australia) breeding with a wolf or a coyote or a dog will birth or sire pups with shared genes and behavioral tendencies of the parents. Theses pups will grow to adulthood and similarly have viable offspring from breeding with any of the other “species”. They will be as recognizable as to parentage of say a Lab crossed with a Golden retriever or a Staffordshire terrier (AKA Pit Bull) crossed with a Doberman. In addition to these outward similarities, behavioral tendencies like the unpredictability of Chows or the aggressiveness of Dobermans will likewise occur in the offspring of say a wolf crossed with a dog or a dingo crossed with a coyote.
Dingoes are Canids that were probably introduced to Australia by aboriginal immigrants many centuries ago. Question: Ask your favorite “Native Ecosystem” enthusiast, if dingoes were brought to Australia by aborigines; are they – the dingoes and the aborigines – “Native”???). But I digress. Dingoes are yellowish-brown “dogs” or “Canids” that are the size of a medium to small German shepherd. When covered in a semi thick coat of fur they appear like a lean Shepherd-type dog, and when covered in a short hair they look like a lean pointy-faced hound dog with upright ears like wolves and coyotes. Dingoes travel in groups and behave very much like wolves. They are bold and very dangerous predators that (in Australia) kill many sheep, “rabbits, kangaroos and emus” as well as children and elderly people. Anyone doubting this last need look no further than the somewhat recent case of the camping Australian family whose little boy disappeared and the mother was charged and found guilty of (killing?, abandoning? I am unsure) the child and sent to prison. Only after an appeal and thorough investigation was it clearly determined that dingoes or a dingo in the campground had killed and carried off the child to be devoured in some remote location. Just like wolves in India and coyotes and cougars attacking a child for food, it is not at all uncommon for the predator to lunge at the child after approaching quietly as close as possible and then seizing them by the neck to crush or break their neck and asphyxiate them, if still necessary: it is also not uncommon for a child so attacked to make no sound.
The news article below concerns a 5600 kilometer (3,480 mile) long fence that has for decades represented an attempt to seal off the SE ¼ of Australia FROM DINGOES. Like Europeans and North Americans of times past, Australians have sought to eradicate or at least minimize the dangers and costs of having to live with these dangerous and destructive “Canids” or predators in the settled or being-settled landscapes of Australia. Anyone denying the facts as understood by those LIVING WITH THESE ANIMALS DAY TO DAY is seriously and ignorantly meddling in the lives of others instead of respecting their fellow-citizens’ rights to what Americans refer to as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Dingoes, like wolves, do not belong in settled landscapes for many reasons.
European history back to and beyond the days of Sparta and Athens were centuries of necessary and persistent wolf control until wolves were little more than occasional wandering remnants. Islands like Britain and Ireland finally exterminated wolves much to the delight of the rich, the poor and their rural economies.
North American is replete with the dangers and destruction that wolves presented to aboriginal Americans as well as European settlers and American and Canadian farmers, ranchers and other rural residents. With one or two minor exceptions, wolves were exterminated throughout the Lower 48 USA States by World War I and were being kept at tolerable levels or exterminated by government and private control in much of Canada that bordered the Lower 48 States and certain Maritime Island Provinces where farms, ranches and villages prevailed.
Russia and most of Asia have hosted the largest concentrations of wolves in the world from sweltering Indian villages across Central Asian scrublands to the forests of Siberia. To this day, wolves kill many people every year as well as destroy precious reindeer and other livestock and the dogs used as watchdogs for people and flocks. Dramatic controls like this Australian fence and techniques like killer dogs, poisons, shooting, traps, posses and other innovations have always been in short supply in these countries where weapons were banned; dictators Religious rulers and Czars kept rural people in helpless societies; and where effective, large-scale wolf controls have always been short-lived and susceptible to quick replacement of controlled wolf areas by the constant influx of wolves from robust wolf populations in surrounding areas.
Until recently, Europe, Asia and North Americans were in complete agreement with Australians about the undesirable nature of these large Canid predators in settled landscapes, especially where men and women are forced to go about unarmed. While Russians and Central Asians agree with these views to this day, when told of European and North American actions to introduce and protect wolves they are as stunned as if they were told that Americans were foregoing oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power in favor of windmills or that Europeans were happy with and celebrating the steady increase in livestock deaths, dog deaths and mental instability of European grazers (that support rural economies, reduce fire dangers, and manage European plant communities for many purposes like erosion control and suppression of undesirable plants by grazing their flocks) resulting from wolf increases in both population and habitats across Europe.
This recent wolf worship (the correct word) has spawned a fantasy/science library of articles by grant and publicity-seeking “scientists” claiming “discoveries” of wolf benefits like “wolves change rivers” by killing big game animals and dispersing remaining animals from river banks thus causing trees and shrubs to proliferate as well as “Native” fish, animals like frogs and plants like Indian paintbrush. I call this pseudo-“science” Romance Biology. Unmentioned in these writings are always:
* The loss of big game hunting and the revenue it once provided to conservation programs by wolf activities.
* The dangers to human safety from the recent wolf attack in a Minnesota campground to the deaths of a schoolteacher on the Alaskan Peninsula and a young Canadian man in Saskatchewan. The impact on children, the elderly and families is enormous.
* The loss of livestock and ranches to wolf predation.
* The huge loss of dogs of all stripes to wolf attacks.
* The financial losses to rural communities, rural businesses, rural families and rural government revenue and authority.
As an American, I am always fascinated (less and less of late) by American innovations copied by others. Europeans are grinding out Romance Biology lies as more and more justifications are needed both in the popular media and as justification for more and continued wolf protection in the face of increasing death and destruction from the wolves.
Now, I can add the Australians as copying this propaganda technique that I call Romance Biology. Note the last three paragraphs of the following short article replete with pictures. A professor at the University of Sydney claims that “reintroduced and existing dingo populations” will “restore the balance of nature” (a meaningless term).
The final picture below is a cleverly (just like in the US and now Europe) worded bit of anti-human society propaganda. The composer (very likely an environmental or animal “rights’” radical group) would have us believe that dingoes (or wolves or coyotes or feral dogs or cougars, etc.) killing all manner of wildlife and livestock is both good and offsets any destruction, mayhem or human pain or death otherwise inflicted by these Canids.
Whenever you see this dingoes increase “the biodiversity of small mammals, lizards, and grasses’ or wolves “change rivers” Romance Biology, ask yourself and anyone believing this, “And your point is?”
Any area can have more or less biodiversity and that is to be expected where man lives and raises his family. The priority should always be the welfare and benefit of man, saying that man must abandon places or community supports simply for the sake of more “small mammals, lizards and grasses” is both silly and a declaration that man and his needs are inferior to any and every mix of plants and animals desired by the rich and powerful. Our challenge is to create and maintain a high standard of living for all persons while simultaneously providing for the endurance of all species and a rich biodiversity of plants and animals WHEREVER POSSIBLE. The dingo/wolf et al enthusiast refutes the “simultaneously” part of the equation and ultimately substitutes “primarily” thereby making their “Native”, “Ecosystem”, “Ecology first” mantra superior to man and his society. That is not only nature “worship” it is the rule if tyrants based on their visions of “nature.
For instance, if riverbank diversity was so valuable (assuming wolves, dingoes et al really do what they say, an assumption akin to climate change justifying population control, and the justification on one world government without any checks or balances) why weren’t hunters simply told to kill more grazing wild animals over the years and then manage the remainder in consonance with human activities and “biodiversity” targets? Anyone that thinks unregulated predation that cyclically varies wildly as do the prey, the predators and the resulting “biodiversity” is in any sense comparable to continuous wildlife management of all species is incapable of grasping the issue in any understandable manner. The real answer is that the dingo/wolf et al protection is meant to ultimately vacate the rural landscape and convert it to closed-to-the-public real estate run by bureaucrats and managed for the benefit of powerful interest groups, the rich and politicians.
I am reminded of a luncheon I attended almost 20 years ago in Brussels. I was sitting next to a Russian (actually a western Siberian with the look of a Greenlander or Northern Alaskan) wildlife expert. He was from Magadan on the Pacific coast near the Kamchatka Peninsula. He leaned over and said to me in a low voice, “Beers, can I ask you a question?” I said sure, and he said, “Is it true that you are putting wolves back into areas where they were exterminated years ago and protecting them?” Somewhat embarrassingly I answered, “Yes that is true.” He shook his head and mumbled to me. “How did you ever win the Cold War?”
What a world when a guy from Siberia tells a guy from Illinois that our people are nuts; and the Illinois guy could do no more than nod and shrug his shoulders in agreement.
That Siberian and I have more in common with those that built the Australian fence than all the expert Romance Biology “experts that invent diversions and lies about things that do not matter, be they “scientific papers” or “signs”. Unless and until the autonomy of Local communities to determine what plants and what animals in what mixes are to exist in THEIR community and how that mix is to be maintained; this rule of far-off dictators, interest groups and bureaucracies will only sit and grow like mushrooms after a rain. Local authority like this has only existed intermittently for millenniums in Europe and Asia: it has only existed in Australia and North America for a few centuries and it is disappearing right before our eyes as you read this. The real trick is to enable the humans that live with these animals to manage them for their own good and to permanently abolish the ability of far-off governments to rule the rural people, in their broadest sense, on behalf of the fantasies and imaginings of rich and powerful blocs with both obvious and hidden agendas.
23 March 2015
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Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.
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