AUGUSTA, Maine, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A group of local and regional leaders representing sporting organizations, small businesses and retailers announced a new partnership called Hunting Works For Maine today. The group formed to highlight the many benefits of hunting and shooting to Maine’s economy, noting that sportsmen and women are crucial drivers of in-state commerce. Speakers at the press conference pledged a more unified voice in support of Maine’s hunting and shooting heritage through this new partnership.
Few will disagree that the moose tick, aka, winter tick (dermacentor albipictus) can be a problem and that an over-abundance kills moose. The claim I have heard for many years is that the moose tick has always been around. Has it? Is making the statement using “around” an honest depiction of more important site specificity? What also concerns me about such statements is that it gives people cause to throw up their hands as if to say that there is nothing that can be done about it now. That may be true, but if there is any hope of trying to discover whether there is some kind of effective cure, isn’t it important to have a complete understanding of this tick?
It is basic knowledge that when any specie of animal exists in abundance or is forced into living in close quarters, disease becomes prevalent. The only way a disease can become prevalent in any species, as I just described, is that somehow that disease, parasite, virus, worm, etc. had to have been introduced, or that it already existed.
Being that we are living in a post-normal or post-scientific world, the dishonest answer to everything is climate change, i.e. global warming. While moose populations in Maine have, until the last couple of years, been increasing in large quantities, this reality flies in the face of global warming arguments that because of a warming climate in Maine moose should be migrating out of the area. Doesn’t seem to be the case. This discussion isn’t necessarily about global warming. I bring it up because it is NOT an explanation that helps to discover facts about moose and winter ticks. These ticks live in the Yukon and the same ticks live in Texas.
From a science institution’s perspective, there can never be studies enough on anything. To go along with that, we humans have had our little brains manipulated in such a way that our response to far too many issues has become to demand a study or a working group to talk about it. Studies mean money and money means more incomplete studies in order that there be more demand for more studies. Very unfortunate.
Working groups are useless and a complete waste of time. Over the years I have seen them be created, propaganda presented, and absolutely nothing getting accomplished.
Having said all this, then shouldn’t we question every time someone wants more studies and form more working groups? After all, it is OUR money. We should demand results…real results.
People in Maine want to know if ticks are really killing the moose. This is the same in New Hampshire and Minnesota. New Hampshire and Minnesota insist the problem is global warming. Global warming, in their wee bit of brains, is what is the cause of what they believe to be an increase in dermacentor albipictus.
We are also, perhaps incorrectly, told that these winter ticks don’t survive in cold climates and yet moose love cold climates and seem to be the one species most effected by the tick. If the winter tick doesn’t like cold climates, then why are these same tick regularly found in The Yukon? And in Texas?
One thing we all must understand, moose suck at grooming themselves. It is helpful knowledge to understand that because moose don’t groom themselves, like lots of other wild and domestic animals, they carry around more ticks. We should be able to reasonably conclude that moose are more greatly effected by the ticks than other ungulates, because they are poor groomers.
Another fact that is seldom discussed is which other animals play host to dermacentor albipictus? Here’s a few to add to your list: elk, caribou, deer, feral swine, wolves, coyotes, cattle and horses. In order to understand how to deal with the moose tick we need to understand other hosts and how the tick is spread. Bear in mind that elk and caribou migrate, sometimes over many, many miles. We know over the years feral swine are spreading all over the United States.
But, consider this fact. According to Gabriele Liebisch, Arndt Liebisch, Stephan Paufler in a study, a horse was transported by plane to Germany from Montana:
Already on arrival at the airport of Amsterdam about 30 fully engorged ticks dropped off the horse, and during the following 4 days in the stable in Germany more than 200 engorged ticks were collected. The tick species was identified as Dermacentor albipictus, which is also called ‘winter tick’.
This study refers to this tick as “New World Tick” because it is a different species than what might be found in Germany. Germany has moose but not necessarily the same problem with the tick and the moose…yet.
Other things found in studies already completed that should be considered, involve the feral swine. In a study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, and published on BioOne, feral hogs found in New Hampshire were tested. Remember New Hampshire blames their problem with ticks on global warming.
The expansion of feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations into new geographic regions is of concern not only due to increased range but also because they carry diseases and parasites that pose a threat to humans, livestock, and wildlife into new areas. Recently, emerging feral swine populations have been reported in the northeastern US and due to their adaptive nature will likely continue to spread. During 2009–2012, 49 feral swine were removed from three counties in New Hampshire.
Infestations of winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) were also documented on two of the feral swine which had only been reported previously on feral swine in Texas. Feral swine may not only serve as an important host for an economically important commercial swine pathogen like PRV, but they could also increase host diversity for parasites such as the winter tick, a species that can regionally impact moose (Alces alces) survival.
There’s more. I had already mentioned that these winter ticks were found in the Yukon. Published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, a study on the origins of dermacentor albipictus, showed that perhaps the tick might have hitched a ride to the Yukon.
Winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) on elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) have recently increased in numbers in the Yukon, Canada, potentially posing risks to other indigenous host species in the region.
Based on our results, winter ticks on elk in the Yukon could have originated either by translocation from central Alberta or by northward range expansion of more geographically proximate populations in northern Alberta and British Columbia. Although there was some genetic structuring of winter ticks on different hosts in the same region, we found little evidence of host specificity in winter ticks from five ungulate host species, suggesting that the winter ticks on elk in the Yukon could potentially become established on other locally available host species such as moose (Alces alces).
While on the subject of referencing existing studies, consider that some scientists find that climate and weather have less effect on the growth and reduction of ticks than others believe.
With this knowledge in hand, can we ask for a more definitive response to the origins of the moose tick than it’s always been around? Maybe it hasn’t always been around. Maybe it was brought into your state or region from someplace else or migrated there.
In reading all of this information, wildlife biologists, along with parasitologists, should be asking whether or not it is a good and responsible practice to allow for the over protection of wild species and seek perhaps a better control over human translocation of wild and domestic animals.
Just maybe what is also being realized here are some of the effects of practicing an ignorant, romantic notion of “balance of nature” where nature magically creates a healthy ecosystem where nothing is wrong. With continued and prolonged efforts to protect wild animal species at high levels, are we not promoting the spread of disease, including winter ticks? Nature allows for regulation via disease, starvation and cannibalism. The result is scarcity which is irresponsible stewardship of wildlife and benefits no human. It is the worst of all choices.
Instead of just throwing some grant money at another study to try to find out if ticks are killing moose, why not practice some good, old-fashioned, hard work and research of the information that is available. I don’t want to have somebody else tell me ticks are killing moose. I know they are. What I’m interested in is finding out if there’s a scientific (real scientific) answer for why there appears to be more ticks and how to stop them before more devastation occurs. It seems to me that nobody has a handle on this necessary information. The only cry is about global warming. Get over it!
If there’s more ticks because there’s too many moose, the solution is simple – we need to kill more moose. If the cause is due to translocation of ticks from outside the region, then let’s stop it. Finding the truth is what’s important. Global warming theory is NOT truth. Spending money to see whether or not ticks are killing moose is akin to spending money to discover if snow is cold.
Here we go again! Another debate about antler point restrictions for the perverts who only want to kill “trophy” deer. While this discussion builds, once again, most Mainers are not filling their freezers with the deer meat they want because of a diminished herd. And the talk involves trophy deer hunting?
In an article in the Lewiston Sun Journal by V. Paul Reynolds, he writes of antler point restrictions (APR). I guess I cannot classify myself as either for or against APR. In the case of Maine, I would be all for it if there actually existed sound science that shows it would grow a deer herd in numbers and not just in size (perhaps?).
Reynolds states that “what we know” about APR from what appears to be information he has gathered from Pennsylvania.
Here is what we do know: After six years of APRs in Pennsylvania, state biologists are calling antler restrictions there an unqualified success.
(Question: How can we “know” this if it’s “unqualified?”)
The “what we know” is listed as such:
1. Increased buck survival – (My note: How is this measured? #4 states there there is no change in hunter success rates. It seems the only way to have increased buck survival AND unchanged success rate is to have a pretty healthy herd growth, with good recruitment, each year. Then again, can there be “increased buck survival” simply because the younger bucks, which generally make up the larger percentage of buck harvest, are not being killed? Unsubstantiated, this claim could be misleading.)
2. No change in breeding timing (My note: This could be important but deer managers have continued to extend the deer hunting season well into and beyond the breeding season. I don’t see how APR could change this.)
3. Avoided negative genetic impacts – (My note: Assuming that means that APRs will not “destroy” the gene pool, a lack of understanding of genetics might lead someone to think such. Newsweek ran an article a few years ago on how trophy hunting (whatever that was as it was never defined) was destroying the gene pool, i.e. killing off all the big animals, would result in a weaker, smaller species. If you kill off all the big animals, the overall size of the herd may be smaller in size because that is what’s left, but this has nothing to do with genetics. (Please see this article for information about genetics and gene pools from Dr. Valerius Geist, Wayne Heimer, Michael and Margaret Firisna, Eric Rominger and Raymond Lee.)
In addition to this, Lee Kantar, former head deer biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) and now head moose biologist, explained to me a few years ago about his thoughts on genetics and trophy hunting.
In the big game management world researchers have been looking more at potential consequences of trophy hunting and how it affects social hierarchies as well as the genetic structure of a particular herd. In order for real effects to take place, a significant number of older age class animals would need to be removed from the herd consistently over a number of years to start to have effects. In isolated herds with low total population numbers this could certainly be of concern…
In essence, the only way genetics, much like buck to doe ratios can be seriously altered is due to extremely poor management or none at all and unrestricted hunting, and/or a deliberate attempt to change genetics.)
4. Maintained hunter success rates – (My note: In the same article in reference here, Kyle Ravanna, MDIFW’s new deer biologist says, “if Maine imposed antler point restrictions, our hunter success rate on bucks, based on current statistics, would decline nearly 50 percent.” Note Ravanna didn’t say COULD decline 50% but WOULD. I’m not sure how he can make that determination. He may have preconceived notions based on information he has and what he would intend to do should Maine implement APR. I would concur that in Maine, with the present state of the deer herd, employing some kind of antler restriction that further restricts a hunter from being able to harvest a deer, would certainly lower the success rate AND anger a lot of hunters. Ravanna also stated that if an APR program wasn’t used “properly” it could actually harm the herd. And that I agree with.
For Pennsylvania to claim that APRs did not change the success rate, then they must have an abundant deer herd that reproduces well enough to not diminish the hunters’ chances at bagging a deer. Maine does not have an abundant deer herd in most areas and therefore, all I can envision by implementing APR is even more of a loss of opportunity to put meat in my freezer.
I strongly believe that the majority of deer hunters, do so for meat. A few are strictly “trophy” hunters, but most will be as picky as conditions permit but in the end they want meat – a trophy becomes a bonus. And probably most would like to have an increased chance at bagging a trophy but not at the expense of losing opportunity and/or reducing success rates.)
5. Increased number of adult bucks – (My notes: The only way this can happen is if the deer herd is healthy enough to consistently recruit enough fawns and yearling deer each season in order that with a consistent success rate, the number of “adult bucks” would remain the same or increase.)
6. Increased age structure of bucks – (My note: This would only stand to reason, provided of course recruitment remained basically unchanged. Age structure is a good indicator of the health and condition of a deer herd. This needs to be monitored carefully and management practices employed in order to meet the goals of a sound deer management plan. Simply increasing the age structure of a deer herd in not necessarily a good thing.)
Before any serious thought can be given to any kind of APR program, Maine has to get it’s deer herd back to a more consistently populated herd, with good age structure and recruitment.
The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times – Paperback
by Ted B. Lyon and Will N. Graves
How have thriving elk populations of thousands dwindled to mere hundreds in just a matter of years? Author Ted B. Lyon asserts the wolf is at fault. He also blames the wolf for the rampant spread of infectious diseases among livestock populations and the decimation of wild deer, moose, sheep, and domestic animals alike. A trial lawyer with over 37 years of litigation experience, Lyon proves his case in The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times. In this detailed yet easy-to-read essay collection, authors Ted B. Lyon and Will N. Graves investigate the majesty and myths surrounding wolves in the United States and offer a new, true picture of the wolf in contemporary America. The Real Wolf is an in-depth study of the impact wolves as a federally protected species have had on big game and livestock populations. Each chapter in the book is meticulously researched and written by authors and scientists who have spent years studying wolves and wolf behavior. Contributing authors Rob Arnaud, Dr. Arthur Bergerud, Karen Budd-Falen, Jess Carey, Dr. Matthew A. Cronin, Dr. Valerius Geist, Don Peay, Laura Schneberger, Heather Smith-Thomas, and Cat Urbigkit each describe a unique aspect of the wolf in the United States. The Real Wolf does not call for the eradication of wolves from the United States, but rather advocates a new system of species management that would allow wolves, game animals, and farmers to live in harmony.
*Note* I was privileged to be asked to write a book review of “The Real Wolf”. Subsequently it became the foreword for this book. If you would like, you can read a copy of that below: (this review has been slightly edited from this original submission.)
Book Review: The Real Wolf
The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-Existing with Wolves in Modern Times
Ted B. Lyons and Will N. Graves and other contributions
It has been nearly 30 years since United States Government employees undertook steps to import Canadian wolves into Yellowstone and Central Idaho; much of that event done illegally. To pull it off, the greatest sales pitch, or con job, in U.S. History had to take place. Wolves were sold as something they were not. Wolf advocates deliberately lied[this has been changed to something more politically correct], brainwashing masses of people with images of the gray wolf as a “keystone predator”, an “indicator species”, a “flagship species”, and all wrapped up in descriptions of wolves “balancing nature” and “sanitarians” of the forests. This was all done for one purpose: to sell the people about introducing wolves into the Lower 48 States. After all, if people were reminded of the truthful history of wolves globally, they would not have fallen for the idea.
It has taken nearly 30 years to compile between two book covers all the facts to explain to the American people that they were lied[also changed] to about the wolf. Everything you need to learn about the truth concerning wolves, can be found in “The Real Wolf.” The Real Wolf is destined to become the encyclopedia of wolf facts, loaded with resources from some of the most renowned scientists, researchers, investigators and historians the world has to offer.
The Real Wolf presents hundreds of pages of documents, facts and real life stories about gray wolves, including over 450 references, footnotes and links to sources and facts.
What began in this country at least 100 years ago, a deliberate effort to change the minds of American children, cannot be reversed in one book publication, but as far as the repulsive fairy tales that have been told about gray wolves around the world, The Real Wolf is a strong first step. It should be the foundation of understanding the wolf and required reading for all wildlife managers and biologists.
For those always wishing they had at their disposal a comprehensive publication in which to share with others and increase their own knowledge of “real wolves”, The Real Wolf is certainly something to add to your library.
Some of my favorite researchers and scientists have contributed to this book: Will N. Graves, author of Wolves in Russia: Anxiety Through the Ages; Dr. Valerius Geist, a leading ethologist and professor emeritus University of Calgary; Dr. Tom Bergerud, the world’s leading authority on caribou; and Dr. Matthew Cronin, a research professor of Animal Genetics at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
The Real Wolf will teach readers of wolf history across the globe, wolf introduction in the United States, the more than 50 diseases wolves carry, how U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alters science to fit agendas, how mongrel mutts are being introduced as pure wolves, the devastation wolves have had on other wild animals and private property depredating livestock and the unbelievable affect it has had on people, plus a whole lot more.
The YUDJINA Clinic specialises on the Echinococcosis Hydatid Cyst treatment (alveolar type also) – a very complex infectious disease caused by the helminthic invasion. The degree of insidiousness of this disease and its consequences can be compared, perhaps, only to cancer. The Echinococcosis infection and the development of the disease proceed imperceptibly for the person exposed to the larvated eggs. Echinococcosis is hard to diagnose.
Clearly expressed symptoms of the disease are absent during a long time, sometimes up to ten years. During this period, one or several Echinococcosis bubbles – cysts grow on various organs of the patient. More often the Echinococcosis affects liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Slowly expanding, the cyst reaches appreciable sizes – up to 20 cm in diameter, and its weight can reach 1 kg. Developed Echinococcosis cyst causes intense sufferings to the patient. In case of physical rupture of a cyst, a complex of various allergic reactions is possible, including the development of an anaphylactic shock.
…….The measures of the public preventive actions are to the following:
…….taking measures for the hygienic training of population, especially among the livestock breeders, the hunters, the dog breeders and the members of their families;(emphasis added)<<<Read the Rest>>>
New Research Shows Hunters Increasingly Motivated by the Meat
Reasons Include the Recession, the Locavore Movement, and More Women Hunting
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Recent national and state-level research conducted by Responsive Management reveals that obtaining meat is an increasingly important motivation among American hunters to go afield. “While there are several reasons for this growth in the segment of hunters who engage in hunting for utilitarian reasons, several of Responsive Management’s new studies make clear that the trend is widespread and unmistakable,” explains Mark Damian Duda, executive director of Responsive Management, who managed the research studies.<<<Read the Rest>>>
MISSOULA, Mont.–A recent nationwide survey indicates 79 percent of Americans approve of hunting, marking a five percent increase from 2011 and the highest level since 1995. “Hunting is a way of life for many of us. Most Americans recognize and agree with that,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.
“Hunting is conservation! It has a tremendous positive impact on wildlife and wildlife habitat.”
Responsive Management, a public opinion research organization focusing on natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, began to scientifically track nationwide hunting approval trends in 1995. The most recent finding of 79 percent is the highest percentage to date. Trends remain relatively steady over the years: 73 percent in 1995, 75 percent in 2003, 78 percent in 2006, 74 percent in 2011 and 79 percent in 2013.
The survey also found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) strongly approve of hunting (79 percent strongly or moderately approve) while 12 percent disapprove (strongly or moderately) of hunting. Another 9 percent gave a neutral answer.
The increase in acceptance may be linked to results from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report (2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/fhw11-nat.pdf) that shows hunting participation increased by 9 percent since 2006 while shooting participation increased 18 percent since 2009. Other Responsive Management studies on public opinion on hunting show the strongest correlation with the approval of hunting is knowing a hunter.
“Hunting has a tremendous and measureable link to conservation. Hunters deserve to be proud of their contributions to wildlife, habitat and resource management,” added Allen.
Hunting directly accounts for more than a million jobs in the US and creates an overall economy of $67 billion per year. Hunters provide the vast majority of funding that allows state wildlife agencies to successfully manage our wildlife resources through license sales and excise taxes on hunting equipment.
Conducted in February 2013, the Responsive Management survey randomly surveyed 1,306 Americans 18 years of age and older.
Perhaps not since Franklin Roosevelt has so much credit been given a person or thing for accomplishing things they never did or did and messed them up. Once again people calling themselves scientific researchers are crediting the existence of grey wolves in Yellowstone for helping to increase the grizzly bear population. This supposedly is being accomplished because wolves keep the elk from eating the berry plants. Information on this “study” can be found at Science World Report.
It appears that not all scientists are impressed with the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the berry bear study. As a matter of fact, Dr. Charles Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, says that, “YNP [Yellowstone National Park] bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!”
And as anyone who has come to know the work of Dr. Kay, he doesn’t spout off without providing the documentation to support his own claims. First, is a copy of a recent email Dr. Kay sent to a number of readers about the berry bear study and links to his own research and information on the subject. Please feel free to educate yourself.
Dr. Kay’s email:
… please see the attached pdf file[s] I doubt that Ripple et al. ever had an original idea in their lives – as explained in the attached article[s], I was the first researcher to measure berry production in YNP, as well as the first to note that YNP’s bears did NOT eat berries – unlike every other bear population that has been studied anywhere. This is because elk had destroyed all the berry producing shrubs in the park. All this, of course, has been completely ignored by IAGBST biologists for over 40 years – which is why YNP bear research/management has been and is a scientific FRAUD!
In 1491 you could count the number of grizzlies in North America on one or two hands, because grizzlies were simply large packages of fat meat that native hunters killed AT WILL. There are more grizzlies in NA today than there were in 1491 – a FACT I can prove.
Please see section 13 of the second pdf file, and Figure 8f in the third pdf file
Charles E. Kay, Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology
Jon M. Huntsman School of Business
Yellowstone: Ecological Malpractice by Charles E. Kay June 1997
A Continuous-Time Analysis of Wildlife Observations Made by Lewis and Clark in 1804-1806
by Charles E. Kay January–March 2007 Canadian Field-Naturalist 121
In the following video, what is the bear doing? I know I have many “bear experts” that regularly read this blog. I believe the story goes that the man who set up this game camera, knows nothing about bears but he manufactures game cameras. The comments are interesting. Some people believe the bear is relieving himself of itches, while other think he is “marking his territory” and a few things in between.
So, readers, what is the bear doing?