July 25, 2014

But, But, But Nature is Always in Balance……..Right?

The Maine coastal town of Bar Harbor, adjacent to Acadia National Park, is proposing a one-time deer hunting season in order to reduce the deer population. According to the article, collisions with cars has increased two and a half times since 2000 and the incidence of Lyme disease has gone up four times what it was five years ago. But, with no hunting season, I thought, according to human haters like the Humane Society of the United States, nature is always in balance and man should butt out and let animals do what they are going to do. So why a seeming increase in deer population?

Without spending a great deal of time looking at all the possibilities, I wonder if any of the considerations have to do with an increase, and a continuing increase, in the black bear population and a very large and hungry coyotes/wolf hybrid population throughout the Pine Tree State?

In examining historic documents, such as Early Maine Wildlife by William B. Krohn and Christopher L. Hoving, we learn that when Maine once had a thriving wolf population, and no coyotes, the deer migrated to the coast of Maine and in particular inhabited the many islands near the coast. The reason being that vicious predators drove the deer in search of safe havens.

Now, with vicious predators growing at substantial rates each year, like bears and wolf/coyote hybrids, perhaps more and more deer are being squeezed from inland locations to coastal areas. However, I would be willing to wager a great sum of money that such a scenario is not even considered in any discussions that might involve the hows and whys of too many deer on Acadia.

So much for balance of nature……but don’t go look.

Predicting Human/Wolf Conflicts

Note: I’m still laughing!

Abstract

Due to legislative protection, many species, including large carnivores, are currently recolonizing Europe. To address the impending human-wildlife conflicts in advance, predictive habitat models can be used to determine potentially suitable habitat and areas likely to be recolonized. As field data are often limited, quantitative rule based models or the extrapolation of results from other studies are often the techniques of choice. Using the wolf (Canis lupus) in Germany as a model for habitat generalists, we developed a habitat model based on the location and extent of twelve existing wolf home ranges in Eastern Germany, current knowledge on wolf biology, different habitat modeling techniques and various input data to analyze ten different input parameter sets and address the following questions: (1) How do a priori assumptions and different input data or habitat modeling techniques affect the abundance and distribution of potentially suitable wolf habitat and the number of wolf packs in Germany? (2) In a synthesis across input parameter sets, what areas are predicted to be most suitable? (3) Are existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany consistent with current knowledge on wolf biology and habitat relationships? Our results indicate that depending on which assumptions on habitat relationships are applied in the model and which modeling techniques are chosen, the amount of potentially suitable habitat estimated varies greatly. Depending on a priori assumptions, Germany could accommodate between 154 and 1769 wolf packs. The locations of the existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany indicate that wolves are able to adapt to areas densely populated by humans, but are limited to areas with low road densities. Our analysis suggests that predictive habitat maps in general, should be interpreted with caution and illustrates the risk for habitat modelers to concentrate on only one selection of habitat factors or modeling technique.<<<Read More>>>

Bearing Roaming Downtown Waterville, Maine

WATERVILLE — Police have received multiple reports from people who say they have seen a bear wandering about the city.<<<Read More>>>

WatervilleMap

Bear Bells Are Worthless and You Just Ain’t “Big” Enough

““Bear bells are annoying to other hikers and virtually useless for letting bears know you are coming,” he said. “A bear needs to hear you well in advance, not as you pass it, which is about the range of those tinkly little things.”<<<Read More>>>

BearBells

BeltBell

Wear this ONLY if you can make yourself look bigger than an 800-pound grizzly bear.

Alaskan Soldier Attacked by Bear During Training Exercise

ANCHORAGE, Alaska– Officials say a 26-year-old Alaska Army National Guard soldier was wearing a combat helmet and other protective gear when he was attacked by a bear while participating in a training exercise at a military base.<<<Read More>>>

Wolf Guard Dog Killed By Wolves

“I know he could have handled his own if he had one [wolf], but where there was one that ganged him up on the front and one the rear end, they just killed him,” said Blessinger.<<<Read More>>>

Wolves Are Just So Misunderstood

Nasty rotten events involving wolves that wolf lovers refuse to accept as reality, lead us to this news story. A man, who 56 years ago was attacked by a wolf, begins corrective surgery to fix a disfigured face.<<<Read More>>>

How The Humane Society of the United States Intends to Manage Black Bears

“The number of bears that have died on Maryland roads this year has risen to 22, according to an unofficial count maintained by the Cumberland Times-News.”<<<Read More>>>

“Vampires That Have Taken the Form of Dogs”

Wolves or vampires? Something is killing goats on a remote island in the Philippines and one mayor has ordered to “shoot those dogs.”

From the Manilla Standard Today:

“SIBALE ISLAND, Romblon—Gov. Eduardo Firmalo has ordered the police “to shoot on sight” an unknown animal that kills goats to suck its blood and eat its heart and liver after a new attack was reported on Saturday, a town official said.

Mayor Lemuel Cipriano said the governor reacted in anger when a resident reported that her pregnant goat and its kid was found dead with its intestines taken out and blood splattered in a coconut grove in Barangay Poblacion.
Firmalo

“Shoot those dogs,” the governor said, referring to the suspected werewolves that killed 211 goats since 2012 in this isolated island in the central Philippines, which can be reached after a six-hour boat ride from the provincial capital of Romblon.

As news of attack spread of the attack on goats spread in across the island, Vincent Fajutagana, a farmer from Barangay Dalajican, reported to the mayor that the predator was about to attack his tethered goat when he arrived and came face to face “with a big, black dog with bloodshot eyes.” The dog fled.”<<<Read More>>>

Trapping: Effective Management Action

Abstract

Many populations of wildlife, including large- and medium-sized predators are increasing in Europe. Trapping can be one way to reduce negative impacts of predators on human interests, such as game species and threatened species, but there is little knowledge of trap usage and motivation behind it. We used a mail survey in Sweden (n?=?3,886 respondents) to compare predator trappers with hunters who used other methods to kill predators, and with other hunters who did not kill predators, in regard to sociodemographics, beliefs, behaviors, and constraints. During 12 months prior to the survey 19 % of respondents had trapped any small- or medium-sized predator, while 15 % of respondents had trapped and 55 % had hunted (without using traps) red fox (Vulpes vulpes), European badger (Meles meles), or corvid birds. Reducing predator numbers was an important reason for hunting predators with traps. Of predator trappers, 97 % had hunted species that were potentially prey of the targeted predators (e.g., roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], hare [Lepus spp.], and grouse), 94 % believed that there were too many red foxes, badgers, or corvids on their main hunting ground, and 64 % believed it to be very important to reduce predator numbers to benefit other game species. We conclude that the use of traps is widespread among Swedish hunters, and that increasing wildlife populations, increased presence of wildlife in urban areas, and management of invasive species calls for effective management actions, of which trapping can be one. (Note: This Abstract is part of the overall study results posted online. For those interested the entire study can be purchased online as well. Learn more about this by following this link.)