November 13, 2018

“Oh Give Me a Home, Where the Buffalo Don’t Roam..”

By James Beers:

News Item from:  THE WESTERNER

National Park Service Approves Quarantine And Transfer Of Bison To Tribes  By MELODIE EDWARDS  MAY 25, 2018

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations.

Now, the National Park Service has signed an environmental assessment that will quarantine animals for six to 12 months before releasing them into tribal care. Public lands are also interested in growing bison herds. 

In the fall of 1957, during hunting season and while I was playing high school football; I came down with a high fever, swollen glands and a spleen the “size of a baseball” according to my doctor.  I spent 5 days in the small-town hospital and a week at home in bed.  I had contracted undulant fever, the human manifestation of brucellosis.

No one could figure out where I got it and there was no County Health Department at the time so the source of the infection went unresolved.

More than 5 decades later while researching diseases, infections and other deadly and dangerous maladies carried and transmitted by wolves, I came across some OLD veterinary science. (Note: NEW vets and their researchers don’t touch anything like this for fear that those soccer moms with money and pets that they “love” like our parents used to love us might think their veterinarian was anti-wolf and probably pro farming, ranching, animal ownership, hunting, etc.)  Brucellosis, I learned is carried by dogs and wolves, coyotes and any other Canid that happens to wander into an infected area.  They can contract it from any infected item eaten, mouthed or sniffed, or from blood contact like rolling in infected material with skin lesions or oral contact with infected material.  Further reading explained that brucellosis can be transmitted by saliva to humans and livestock.

That fall I had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever that was a crackerjack pheasant-finder and duck-retriever.  I had permission over a wide farm area to wander with that dog and my shotgun pretty much at will as time permitted.  The farms were mainly dairy and corn farms with lots of edge and ditches holding everything from mallards to snipe and mink.   I am now convinced that one or more dairy cows had brucellosis in the areas we wandered through and my dog had contracted it (probably in a pasture) and I got it from his saliva.  Canids can be simple carriers showing no outward symptoms.

That dog and I were on the same wavelength and I often showered him with praise when he did what I wanted.  I would often scratch his ears and put my face close to him letting him lick my face.  I also had cuts on my hands from football, cutting wood, etc. that he would lick when he noticed them.  He and I had been hunting mallards and pheasants in the days before I went into the hospital and my mother feared I would die while the diagnosis was uncertain.

There are many other reasons than cattle infections to keep agricultural/farming areas free of animals like buffalo that can contract, carry and transmit brucellosis.

  • Just think about some dark buffalo standing on a gravel road at 10 o’clock some stormy night as you drive home from some business in town with your kids in the back seat asleep.
  • Think about pasture and field fences that are simply stumble points for buffalo.
  • Think about ornery buffalo bulls getting in with cattle.
  • Think about buffalo in plowed ground or corn or wheat or a garden or a green pasture.
  • Think about hunting as I was one fine day behind a dog in an enormous stretch of rolling hills and grass near Malta, Montana for pheasants and sharptails.  There was nary a tree in sight.  What if the dog topped a ridge and startled or otherwise bothered some buffalo out of his or my sight and the buffalo went for the dog?  Where and to who would the dog go?  If you said, “why to you”, Bingo!  So where would I and my 20 gauge with #6’s go??  Quick now buffalo can move pretty fast.

Buffalo were extirpated on the Great Plains and mountain valleys, not by “hunters” nor for “sport”.  Buffalo were extirpated for the common-sense and common-good purpose understood by men without “degrees” but with families and a hope to raise them by raising crops and grazing livestock.  They knew that you could never do those things with free-roaming buffalo in the neighborhood.  DITTO, by the way, for wolves and grizzly bears.

Our native American brethren welcome buffalo on select reservations for many reasons that are best left unmentioned, just they did and do with wolves in cahoots with bureaucrats and radicals.  Even when tribal members shoot and kill a wolf, they are “punished” like Montessori kids whose dog ate their homework, while you and I may go to prison and lose our voting and gun rights plus pay a large fine for even attempting to “take” a wolf.  Like the wolves, buffalo on reservations will certainly wander off the reservation and begin more mayhem than I mentioned here as their numbers increase and their range spreads just like wolves and grizzly bears.

While rural Americans will “howl” about all this like Atlanta under Sherman, the natives will only smile and the urban environmental radicals; animal rights extremists; urban lawyers; state wildlife agencies; and “perfessors” in search of money, graduate students and notoriety will swarm into media reports, demonstrations, classrooms and lawsuits to “save” the buffalo. Media outlets and courts of law will be platforms protesting everything from how “they” (the buffalo) were here first and how any “control” would jeopardize the precious buffalo “family” structure to how buffalo “restore” the prairies (and other) “ecosystems” while being of immense benefit to rural America (all of which is 100% BS) as the accompanying rural evacuation as in The Grapes of Wrath they are perpetrating continues.

I guess you can mark me down as a supporter of a big (8’ x 12’) professional sign I saw next to the entrance of the Catholic Church in Malta, Montana when I went to church there while bird hunting one fine fall Sunday morning a few years ago.  It read:

NO FREE-ROAMING BUFFALO IN MALTA… VOTE NO! 

Consider:

  1. Buffalo are very susceptible to being infected with Brucellosis.
  2. If not contained, buffalo will roam far and wide; and when uncontained they are, by definition, without an owner responsible for their actions or effects.
  3. When free-roaming buffalo encounter Brucellosis, they will contract and spread it.  The likelihood of cattle, canids and certain humans contracting and spreading brucellosis is significant.
  4. Who would check free-roaming buffalo for Brucellosis and how would you know which buffalo is checked as buffalo numbers and range increase?  For how long and under who’s jurisdiction and oversight would free-roaming buffalo be checked? How thoroughly and how often, as in all or annually would free-roaming buffalo be checked? How practical is that? How much would it cost?  Who pays for all this with what funds?   Who has primary jurisdiction over which (federal land/private land/state land/reservation/entire species/etc.) buffalo?
  5. Who is responsible if there is an outbreak of Brucellosis or other damage to the public by these government-introduced (GI) Buffalo?  Is it to be like government-introduced wolves and grizzly bears that kill people or destroy private property with no government responsibility while the blame is placed on human victims for not behaving correctly or for violating some bureaucratic regulation?
  6. Who, with any common sense believes that all this checking will be done for more than a few (at most) years, while Draconian law enforcement will increase and go on for a bureaucrat’s forever as the buffalo increase and spread?

The real point is the urban supporters are not harmed by buffalo or wolves or grizzly bears (or pythons): while the ruralcitizens lack both the political power and financial wherewithal to stop what is being perpetrated upon them by powerful bureaucracies for all manner of foul agendas.

If this were made into a movie it could sensibly be titled, “The Bride of Wolves and Grizzlies”.  The past 40 years of this same scheming by federal and state bureaucrats, Indian Tribes and radical organizations to similarly introduce and protect wolves, grizzly bears and now buffalo as adjuncts to Wilderness; Government Land Purchases, Government-supported Easements of Private Property; Public Land Closures to use and management; and a host of other government moves on behalf of radical groups intending to ultimately depopulate the rural West and the Great Plains.  Like wolves and grizzlies, buffalo will only increase and speed up the dissolution of local communities’ economies and safety to steadily establish unchallenged federal enclaves that destroy communities, rural families and local governments while making state bureaucracies little more than federal offices.

George Orwell, call your office.

Jim Beers

9 November 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

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.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

Share

Animals Are NOT People

Recently, an animal protectionist voiced concern about the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Maine. We all should be concerned about the spread of this deadly to animal disease (it has of yet not proven that it can jump over and infect humans). But, animals, as much as we care about their welfare, even those animals given to us by our Creator as a natural resource to enjoy from viewing to table fare, are not people and should not be treated as such. In doing so, lines of priority in the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of all get blurred even to a point of perversion.

The article begins by making an association of equality or even preference of the animal over that of man by stating: “If we had a chance to help a human or an animal, why wouldn’t we do it? If we knew that the situation could easily get worse — in some cases, far worse — why wouldn’t we do what we could now instead of waiting?”

The first priority, in a natural setting of existence understanding, should always be that of man. Because Man was granted “dominion” over all the plants and animals by our Creator, the first concern is with people. Animals become secondary and of concern in this case because man’s existence is directly affected.

The perversion shows when the author uses the relative pronoun “who” in reference to a deer or deer collectively: “I would have thought that the DIFW biologist’s primary concern would have been the suffering and death of the animals who might contract CWD.” and, “…the feeding of deer who might have been exposed to CWD…”

The importance of this misuse of pronouns isn’t so much that the writing is grammatically incorrect, something a “published author from Bristol” should know, it is the exposure of the indoctrination that has perverted the minds of millions who insist on categorizing animals at the same existence level as that of man. How sick is that….really?

It is impossible to rightly attack any problem or establish any kind of rule or regulation in the management of any animal when the animal is not placed in the correct hierarchy according to relative importance based on the existence of Man. Because our animal-perverse society has muddied the differences between man and animal, such distinctions of utmost importance are lost and decisions rendered ended up being acts of perversion in their own right.

This misguided perversion shows when the author takes issue with comments made by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about the concerns of the hunting industry should CWD have a devasting effect on the deer and moose. The author chooses to disregard the common sense association that their concerns over the health and welfare of the animals exist in unspoken words from the quotes that were handpicked.

Perhaps the upside of this is that the MDIFW sees the potential risks of the spread of disease as being first and foremost a concern for that of the people and their welfare and secondly to the animals and their health…or maybe not.

But, make no mistake about it, CWD is extremely problematic and the author does bring up some good points to consider.

It is impossible to stop the spread of the disease but steps can be taken to slow it down. The MDIFW already has mandatory regulations in place to help in that regard. Some of those steps may need to be strengthened if the disease shows signs of actually making its way into Maine.

Because CWD prions can find their way into the commercial marketing of urine-based scents and lures, I agree with the author that they should be banned.

I think the jury is still out on feeding of deer as to whether or not congregated feeding actually causes the spread of disease any more than in a natural setting due to the make-up of the disease itself. There are some trade-off issues that need to be considered when it comes to feeding deer, but the bottom line is that CWD will destroy the deer and moose herds and thus destroy the hunting industry as well as wildlife viewing.

As might be spoken by any avid totalitarian, animal rights activist, the following statement should be of concern to all: “It needs nothing less than the force of law.” 

As our collectivist society works harder and harder at destroying their own free existence, avidly calling on a fascist government (force of law) to rule with an iron fist should be of concern for all…but isn’t.

As with any of this talk, based on utter ignorance of facts, media echo chambers will continue to repeat misguided claims and false information without actually doing any real research to understand the creation and history of CWD. It’s a shame really but nothing more than a reflection of the automatonic existence that has been created for all of us.

As a brilliant man recently shared, with Collectivism comes collective ignorance and stupidity. Collectivism ensures like existence. How frightfully boring!

Share

Frigid weather and extended snow cover once kept the ticks in check.

BULLPUCKY!!!!!!!!!

As is typical of Environmentalism’s propaganda machine and brainwashing throughout all of Academia, another BS article in the Bangor Daily News, when discussing the problems with winter ticks and moose, states that “Frigid weather and extended snow cover once kept the ticks in check. But with climate change resulting in winters starting later and less snow in some places, winter ticks have more time to find their hosts.”

This is utter nonsense – propaganda fomented by environmentalists to promote their lies about global warming. It’s also ignorance about the winter tick itself. Even existing studies don’t support such nonsense.

BUT DON’T GO LOOK!!! GEEZUS MAN!!!

So, is Maine now backing off their claims of earlier in the year when they were leaning toward attributing the large growth and presence of winter ticks to an inflated moose population? Maybe there are more grant monies available to those promoting Climate Change?

This is what Maine’s moose biologist Lee Kantar said about the differences in moose between Northern Maine and those in Western and Southern parts of the state: “I’m trying to strike a balance here between concern for moose in parts of the state and then the idea that in other parts of the state, in northern Maine, the population appears to be quite stable…We’re trying to do our due diligence in understanding the moderating climate, winter ticks and moose densities.”

If they believe in their nonsense about climate change then why can’t they see that attempting to grow moose in Maine to levels that are too high to sustain a healthy population, in time will force moose further south into climates that might attribute to better survival of the winter tick? But then again, weather and climate play such a minor role in the existence and perpetuation of the winter ticks that biologists are wasting their time trying to figure it all out.

It’s all hocus pocus – biology 101. If you want to get rid of the winter ticks and thus the high rates of mortality among moose calves and female moose, reduce the population. The longer wildlife managers remain befuddled by the BS lies of Climate Change, nothing will ever be learned.

God, the insanity!!!

Share

Wisconsin Considers Paying Hunters $1,000 to Kill CWD Infected Deer

According to Outdoor Hub, Wisconsin is toying with the idea to pay hunters up to $1,000.00 to take CWD infected deer with the idea of using this tactic to rid the state of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Some like the idea and others not so much. Of course, there are issues and many unanswered questions.

Some obvious concerns are pointed out in the article. One is that you cannot necessarily tell if a deer is infected when you look at it. Some studies have shown that deer can be infected with CWD and in the early stages cannot be observed with the naked eye.

Another issue is that of the fact that the infectious prions that carry or cause CWD can remain active in the environment for over two years. To rid Wisconsin of CWD a program of this sort would have to be aggressive and last long enough to ensure that enough time has elapsed to rid the environment of the deadly prions as well as putting into place programs that would stop the spread of the disease from importation or dispersal. Good luck with the dispersal problem.

A professor at a state university says: “To just randomly shoot animals and hope to reduce prevalence, you have to shoot more than half the deer every year,” said Mike Samuel, a professor at Wisconsin-Madison added. “The deer population can’t sustain that. They can sustain about a third of it, is our potential.”

Is there much point in seeking to “sustain” a deer herd if that herd is seriously infected with CWD? Is it better to have a small herd that is healthy, that will, more than likely rebuild, with proper management, after the disease is gone, or to have a “sustainable” herd that is riddled with disease?

It would be an immense task to undertake with little, if any, guarantee that it would work. Even with increased knowledge of this disease, it is virtually impossible to stop the spread of the disease. To attempt to isolate one state from all others to rid that state of CWD while the disease persists across borders, makes one ask if such a plan is at all practical.

 

Share

Politics May Cause Focus on CWD Spread to be in the Wrong Places

Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in deer in Ontario Province in Canada. Some in Maine and other New England states have taken up a panic or semi-panic mode while saying and doing stupid things. One thing is for sure. Few of us know anything about the disease…even those pretending to be an authority.

As with most things like diseases that are serious, why does it seem the focus is placed on the wrong aspect of the problem? It seems an American thing to avoid the real issue and place the focus on emotional and political BS. We see this in discussions about AIDS and the Second Amendment. With AIDS, instead of addressing the immoral lifestyles that most greatly contribute to the spread of the disease, we only focus on a cure in order to permit the perpetuation of homosexuality.

In speaking of guns, Americans almost never focus on the real issue of what causes a person to resort to violent behavior that is deadly to other humans. So much effort is placed on ensuring that law-abiding citizens have their right to choose how to protect themselves taken away.

And now we see Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sneaking up on us. Many admit that scientists don’t fully understand the disease. They have a better sense of the end result – almost – than the cause and the spread.

As is typical, with diseases such as CWD, brucellosis, Echinococcus granulosis, Neospora caninum, etc., where both wild and domestic animals can become infected and infectious, often the blame, if you will, is placed on captive animal facilities as being the culprits in the growth and spread of these diseases to the wild population of the same animals. This has never been proven as fact and is next to impossible to do so. To state otherwise is dishonest.

In an article I read in the Berkshire Eagle of Massachusetts, it was written that: “If you have regulatory authority over captive farms you could require really high fences, double fences and require tags on your deer.”

Part of the argument being expressed here is that an agriculture department will not be strict enough in regulating captive cervids and that authority should be given to fish and wildlife agencies. There is serious political corruption that exists within both departments that we should never consider one government agency as being better at regulating than another. History has shown us that fish and wildlife agencies can be just as corrupt in their wielding of authority for political reasons as any agriculture department.

By directing the focus of the problem on captive cervid ranches, we may be doing ourselves a real disservice when it comes to serious efforts to understand this disease, for without the right knowledge proper control if there is such a thing, is impossible.

For those who don’t know, I will tell you that captive cervid ranchers would put up “high fences” and “double fences” if they could afford it in order to protect their herds from the spread of disease from outside into the ranch. It’s been several years now since I last spent a great deal of time learning about elk and deer ranching, but the last time I recall discussing double fencing the cost ranged somewhere around $1 million a mile. The argument for high and double fencing is to prevent any kind of contact between captive animals and wild ones.

It is sometimes lost in these emotional discussions that ranchers absolutely do not want any disease in their herds. It’s stupid to think differently. CWD within a herd of captive elk or deer would put the rancher out of business.

Because some choose to believe that diseases like CWD originate within the fences and is spread beyond the fences through contact with other animals outside the fences, they fail to understand that it can just as easily happen in the reverse. There was a time when in areas where CWD occurs, no instances of CWD had been detected in captive cervids. That should tell us something. It seems the real issue is in regulating the import and export of captive cervids, especially across state lines.

I visited domestic elk ranches in the West a few years back and was impressed with how conscientious they were about every aspect of their business, including the threat of disease. Again I say, any serious disease will destroy that business and none of them want it.

The author of the article linked to does a pretty good job explaining to readers about how easily and quickly CWD can spread in the wild. He writes: “Deer disperse out, and in studies they have found 75 percent of yearling males will disperse from two miles on up from where they were born. Stainbrook cited that one yearling disperser in Pennsylvania, which had a GPS collar on it went over 90 miles. This could be a major contributor to how CWD can spread across the landscape. There are ongoing studies to try to determine the average distance that deer will disperse. If the average males travel four or five miles, one can estimate after 10 years how far CWD has been spread.”

Captive deer are captive, enclosed behind fences, and unable to “disperse.” It, therefore, makes a bit of sense that they are less likely to be the chief culprit in the spread of the disease. Any agriculture business needs to be responsible for disease spread and for the most part, I think that is the case. We can do many things to reduce the risk of the spread of disease, or at least perhaps slow it down, but short of a cure, there is little hope of completely stopping it. Ensuring that we keep our focus on the problem in the right places, prioritizing them from a scientific position rather than a political one will go a long way in addressing a serious disease spread.

Share

Maine: Emergency Rules Enacted To Protect Deer, Moose Herd; Prevent Spread Of Chronic Wasting Disease

*Editor’s Note* – This ruling probably should have been put into effect a long time ago. Maine should also consider the same rules for other game and animal species that spread disease – coyote/coywolves and foxes come to mind.

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — With Chronic Wasting Disease discovered in bordering Quebec, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife implemented emergency rules designed to protect Maine’s deer and moose herds, and keep Maine CWD free.

“Chronic Wasting Disease is the most serious threat facing our deer and moose populations in modern times,” said Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Unchecked, this disease could devastate Maine’s Deer and Moose populations, and ravage Maine’s hunting and wildlife watching economy.”

CWD is an always fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, moose and other cervids such as elk and caribou. CWD is caused by a mutant protein called a prion, which causes lesions in the brain. Research shows prions can be shed in saliva, blood, urine, feces, antler velvet, and body fat. Prions bind to soil where they can remain infectious for years. CWD is always fatal, there is no treatment, vaccine or resistance, and once present in the state, it is nearly impossible to eradicate.

In order to halt the spread of CWD and keep this devastating disease out of Maine, the Department has implemented the following rules regarding the importation of deer and other cervids into the state of Maine. It is now illegal to bring cervid carcasses or parts except in the following manner:

  • boned-out meat; properly identified and labeled. hardened antlers;
  • skull caps with or without antlers attached that have been cleaned free of brain and other tissues;
  • capes and hides with no skull attached;
  • teeth; and
  • finished taxidermy mounts.

In addition, the rule also prohibits the temporary importation of cervid carcasses and parts that are in-transit through Maine to another jurisdiction. These rules apply to all states and provinces with the exception of New Hampshire.

In addition, the Department urges all hunters to help halt the spread of CWD by following these guidelines:

  • Do not use urine-based deer lures or scents. CWD can be introduced into the soil with these scents and lures and lay dormant for years before infecting a deer herd. Many, if not all these products are derived from CAPTIVE deer, where the risk of CWD is greatest. While currently legal, avoid using these products in order to protect Maines moose and deer herd.
  • Please follow the laws and rules regarding the importation of harvested deer, moose, or elk from any state or provinces (other than New Hampshire). CWD carried in the brain and spinal cord of infected deer. It is vitally important that these parts are not transported across state and provincial boundaries.
  • Report deer that appear sick, weak, or starving to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife so that the animal can be tested for CWD. Early detection is the key in stopping the spread of CWD.
  • Avoid feeding deer and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. Feeding artificially concentrates deer, creating conditions increase the risk of CWD transmission. Feeding also attracts deer from long distances, increasing the likelihood of the disease becoming established in Maine.

Following these guidelines will help prevent the spread of CWD as Deer shed prions in urine, feces, and saliva and Infected animals can start shedding prions nearly a year before showing clinical signs of the disease.

“We hope that all hunters take an active role in keeping CWD out of Maine by doing their part to prevent the spread of CWD,” said Woodcock.

Share

Portions of Maine Should Be On The Lookout for Wildlife Diseases

Last week outdoor writer George Smith told his readers that they should be aware that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in bearing down on Northwestern Maine as the disease has been found only 100 miles from the Maine border with Quebec, Province. CWD is a debilitating disease for deer as it causes, as the name suggests, deer to “waste away” and die. While not pleasant to see or harvest a fulling infected CWD deer, eating the meat is not harmful to humans…but not everyone cares to eat it and will not risk doing so.

But, this isn’t the only threat Mainers should be made aware of. Today I posted a recent study that showed certain strains of Echinococcus worms carried and spread by wild and domestic canids (dogs). The study sampled wolves, coyotes, red, and arctic foxes in both Quebec Province and the State of Maine and found the human-contagious parasite in Northern and Western Maine near the Canadian border.

Some good news is that the more harmful strain of Echinococcus, E. multilocularis, was not found in any of the canids sampled, although it has been found in portions of Ontario and moving east.

I’ve written much about this disease over the past years, falling mostly on deaf ears. Even when the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) first reported that they had found the disease in Moose in Maine (2014), after initially posting something about it on their website, they quickly scrubbed it. In an email I sent to Commissioner Woodcock asking him what the Department intended to do about this troubling discovery, the response I got was, “nothing at this time.”

So when? It’s been 4 years.

Canid species are definitive hosts of the Echinococcus eggs and are passed through their feces into the environment of which wild ungulates – moose, deer, elk, caribou, etc. – ingest the tiny spores which in turn form cysts on their lungs, liver and other organs. While not deadly to these animals directly, cysts can affect the capacity of lungs and the function of the liver making these animals more susceptible to predators.

Humans, on the other hand, are at risk from the same ingestion of spores. This can happen from close examination of wolf, coyote, fox scat when the spores are released into the air and a person can inhale or ingest eggs that have gotten on their skin or clothing. They can also ingest eggs by drinking infected water. These eggs are extremely viable in various environmental conditions.

The most common way of becoming infected is when dog owners allow their dogs to run free in areas where wild canines, infected with the disease, live and roam. Dogs, as dogs do, can eat infected carrion, getting eggs on their mouth, face, and fur, passing it on to people, including children (think dogs licking children’s faces). Dogs also will eat or roll in wild canine feces, bringing the eggs with them back home and into the house if people allow their free-ranging dogs to live with them in their houses.

The study that I linked to in a previous posts exclaims that what is needed is that more effort is taken to educate and warn those who might be at risk, including trappers, hunters, and anyone with free-ranging dogs living in known infected areas.

Perhaps it is time for MDIFW to step up to the plate and inform the public what they know and begin an education program. They may be concerned about the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, as they should, because it can destroy our already fragile deer herd, but what about protecting people? That should be of higher priority than protecting the deer…shouldn’t it?

For Maine, the E. canadesis strain (G8 and G10) are of the most threat to us. The report defines the spread of this disease into Maine as “rapid.” Now is the time to begin the education process, to teach people about restraining their dogs and or talking to their vets to make sure they are getting the proper and timely worm treatments. The simplest and quite effective thing people can do is to wash their hands frequently.

Detection of the cysts, Hydatid cysts, in humans is difficult. If detected, treatment is expensive and dangerous. Part of the reason detection is difficult is because doctors aren’t looking for it because nobody is telling them the incidents of Hydatid disease is on the increase. These people prefer to scoff at the notion of any health risk in order to protect their precious wild dogs.

It’s time to make some changes that will help reduce the risk of infection of humans.

Share

Echinococcus in wild canids in Québec (Canada) and Maine (USA)

Abstract

Zoonotic Echinococcus spp. cestodes (E. canadensis and E. multilocularis) infect domestic animals, wildlife, and people in regions of Canada and the USA. We recovered and quantified Echinococcus spp. cestodes from 22 of 307 intestinal tracts of wild canids (23 wolves, 100 coyotes, 184 red and arctic foxes) in the state of Maine and the province of Québec. We identified the species and genotypes of three Echinococcus spp. cestodes per infected animal by sequencing mitochondrial DNA at two loci. We further confirmed the absence of E. multilocularis by extracting DNA from pools of all cestodes from each animal and running a duplex PCR capable of distinguishing the two species. We detected E. canadensis (G8 and G10), but not E. multilocularis, which is emerging as an important human and animal health concern in adjacent regions. Prevalence and median intensity of E. canadensis was higher in wolves (35%, 460) than coyotes (14%, 358). This parasite has historically been absent in Atlantic regions of North America, where suitable intermediate hosts, but not wolves, are present. Our study suggests that coyotes are serving as sylvatic definitive hosts for E. canadensis in Atlantic regions, and this may facilitate eastward range expansion of E. canadensis in the USA and Canada. As well, compared to wolves, coyotes are more likely to contaminate urban green spaces and peri-urban environments with zoonotic parasites.<<<Read More>>>

 

Share

Moose Population Up Car Collisions Down in Maine? I Don’t Think So

Maine’s Portland Press Herald is reporting that Maine’s moose population is up and car collisions with moose are down. “Good news for moose: The overall population is up, but the number of car-moose collisions is trending down.”

The link the Herald provides to substantiate the increase in the moose population is a mostly outdated piece and is being misrepresented in this recent article about moose population increases. To claim a moose population as being up mostly based on an increase in allotted moose permits for this year’s hunt is inaccurate. Newer information provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) tells us that biologists have discovered that the number of deadly moose ticks is directly proportional to the number of moose. An increase in moose permits will continue to lower the moose population, in return lowering the tick population.

But if you don’t want to believe any of this information then understand that it doesn’t take that many brains to know that the number of moose have been on the decline for some time. Where 10 to 15 years ago moose numbers were getting to be a nuisance, now it is back to seldom seeing a moose in many places that had become common. This may not hold true in prime moose country but overall the state has a considerably reduced population of moose…and thus, the reason for the decrease in car collisions with moose.

“Kantar says long-term crash data indicate the number of collisions is down “significantly” over the last 15 to 20 years.

“There isn’t a specific reason why that may be, he said…”

Maybe there is no “specific” reason but the main reason has to be a reduced population of moose, not an increase. New signage in certain places and I’ll even give the benefit of the doubt that driver education may be contributing to fewer collisions, but these changes may be only insignificantly limiting moose collisions.

MDIFW is on the right track to continue reducing the moose population to mitigate the needless suffering of moose from the deadly winter tick. In turn, fewer moose means healthier moose which also translates into fewer collisions.

Share

Unanswered Questions About “Bat Gates?

A few days ago I was reading a press release put out by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) about how the department just built the first steel and concrete “Bat Gate” designed to keep people out of caves where bats hibernate.

Why keep people out? The release says, “Scientists have discovered that white-nose syndrome is primarily passed from bat to bat or from hibernacula surfaces to bats, but can be spread by people because spores of the fungus may cling to clothing, backpacks, and shoes. When people visit caves and mines during any time of year, they could transport the fungus to uninfected areas…” (emboldening added)

Looking at the photos in the press release, it appears that there is an awful lot of habitat destruction taking place during the construction. Did these workers “unknowingly” get fungus on them and transport it to uninfected areas? What did they do to make sure this didn’t happen?

Whose land is this being built on? If not public land, did MDIFW obtain permission to do this?

This seems a bit of a drastic measure to undertake considering the “can be,” “may,” and “could” descriptions of the possible human role of spreading a disease that is natural and perhaps is doing the job it is intended to do – keep the population of bats in check. We sometimes think we are so smart but are we failing to realize that in our personal desire to protect any and all species of wildlife, maybe we are not doing the wildlife any favors.

It should be in the forefront of the minds of biologists at MDIFW considering what they have discovered or at least pretend to have discovered, about moose and winter ticks. Growing and protecting moose populations creates a situation where winter ticks thrive. Perhaps the risk of human transport of this fungus is insignificant compared to the bats themselves. If numbers aren’t kept at healthy levels, Biology 101 teaches us or used to anyway, that disease occurs which in turn reduces the population.

In addition to what should be obvious questions, placing this gate over the entrance to a cave, has anyone asked the question as to what other species of wildlife that may use this habitat is being denied and what threats this imposes on them?

Share