October 16, 2018

A Call for a Possible Bounty on Coyotes Because of Disease Spread

Jon Lund is the owner and publisher of the Maine Sportsman magazine. In the March 2018 edition, he asks, “Are Coyotes to Blame for Increase in Ticks?” His simple explanation is that the presence of an increased population of coyotes in Maine is causing a reduction in the fox population – the trickle-down effect of an increase in ticks, particularly the tick that carries Lyme disease. The reality is that coyotes compete with and kill, directly and indirectly, the red fox that is sufficiently more adept at killing the small rodents that carry and perpetuate the Deer (Lyme) tick. In an effort to mitigate what appears to be a festering and growing incidence of Lyme disease in Maine, Lund is wondering if it is time, due to the necessity of a public health risk, to make a more serious effort at reducing the coyote population.

Maine got along just fine before the coyote took over the countryside and contrary to the many statements made otherwise, we don’t need them.

However, there is something else I’d like to touch base with readers about that Mr. Lund brings up in his article. This has to do with the use of chemicals and/or “natural” elements to ward off ticks and insect bites.

I’m sure that the pharmaceutical industry, and anyone else who stands to make a profit from their drugs to treat Lyme and other diseases, has thoroughly hyped the presence of ticks and instilled ample fear into the masses. After all, when the people live in fear they will do most anything.

Lund speaks specifically about permethrin. Permethrin is a common ingredient found in compounds marketed as insect repellents or killers. Basically, it attacks the central nervous system of insects.

Permethrin is a synthetic, or man-made, product derived from pyrethrin.

Most fact sheets available to the consumer paint the picture of permethrin/pyrethrin as mostly harmless even though long-term effects have not been studied. Some believe that using products that contain permethrin presents a higher risk of health issues than the odds of getting bit by a tick that will infect you with Lyme or other diseases. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. But to make that decision honestly, you should make the effort to understand the presented “remedies” and “threats.” It’s your health. Know what you are doing.

Lund takes the time to explain how ticks are spread around (I don’t find any factual claims that global warming is the culprit) and refers to a study where “…a growing body of evidence suggests that Lyme disease risk may now be more dynamically linked to fluctuations in the abundance of small-mammal hosts that are thought to infect the majority of ticks.”

The same study tells us that the incidence and presence of Lyme disease are not related to the abundance of deer but to the absence of key small predators. “We then show that increases in Lyme disease in the northeastern and midwestern United States over the past three decades are frequently uncorrelated with deer abundance and instead coincide with a range-wide decline of a key small-mammal predator, the red fox, likely due to expansion of coyote populations. Further, across four states we find poor spatial correlation between deer abundance and Lyme disease incidence, but coyote abundance and fox rarity effectively predict the spatial distribution of Lyme disease in New York. These results suggest that changes in predator communities may have cascading impacts that facilitate the emergence of zoonotic diseases, the vast majority of which rely on hosts that occupy low trophic levels.”

This claim is in direct contradiction to the theory that predators kill only the sick of the prey species and justifies the “need” for predators to keep our ecosystems healthy. Not only is there no evidence that the presence of large predators reduces the presence of disease in ecosystems, this study seems to prove the exact opposite.

We forget or never learned history. Large predators like wolves and coyotes were not tolerated on the landscape by early settlers. And there were reasons for that, some of which include not only the destruction of property caused by these critters but it was known that they carried and spread diseases, many of which are harmful and even deadly to humans.

And yet, today, there is an all-out effort to protect these same predators. It appears that for some anyway, the demand for an abundance of coyotes at the expense of public health is just fine and dandy. I don’t see it that way at all and I’m not alone.

As the trend continues in the direction that it is headed, it should be fairly easy to predict there will be increased fall-out about protecting any animal that spreads dangerous diseases among the people. Few tolerate the presence of rats knowing and remembering the unbelievable death and destruction caused by the bubonic plague. Is there a difference in protecting the health and safety of the public because one culprit is a nasty rat and the other is a nasty wild dog?

Mr. Lund is correct in asking the question about the role of coyotes in Maine, or anywhere else, where, according to provided data, the coyote is directly affecting the growth, perpetuation and spread of Lyme disease.

If Maine cannot effectively control the population of coyotes for public health and safety with the current management strategies, then it may be time to look at something more effective.

It is dishonest by the many who blame hunting and trapping for the decimation and/or extirpation of wolves and coyotes but go out of their way to deny that hunting and trapping of the same animals today have any effect on reducing their population numbers.

Many decades ago when it was decided by governments that wolves and coyotes were destroying property and spreading diseases, one of the elements employed to rid the landscape of the nasty canines and the diseases they spread was a bounty system. Any bounty must be attractive enough to draw enough to the plan. What is the limit in the cost of healthcare?

Such a suggestion will be vehemently opposed by many, especially those who hate hunting and trapping. They are wrong that think people like Jon Lund and myself might promote a bounty system for coyotes only for improving deer hunting. Little do these people know and understand the real conservation of wildlife.

In the normal world which is being left in the dust, there would be no question as to what is the right thing to do. Normalcy tells us public health and safety take precedence over animals and the spread of disease. One has to wonder what the extent of the bubonic plague would have been like if people had known and took real action to get rid of the rats that spread the disease.

But, we live in a Post-Normal world now where many things are upside-down. Are we to wait until more and more people get sick and die before we begin to act? Are we serious about finding a cure to a problem or is there just too much money to be made along with the genocide many promote?

It appears so.

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Perpetuation of Myth of Climate Change Is Killing Moose in Droves

There is no end to the perpetuation of ignorance by those still claiming that climate change is responsible for what some believe to be an increase of incidence of winter ticks killing moose in Maine and other regions of New England and in Minnesota.

The Media Echo Chamber is undaunting when it comes to copy-and-paste fake journalism concerning Climate Change. Of course, this is fueled by fish and game departments nationwide eager to rattle the rafters with the battle cry of Climate Change. After all, it does give them the ultimate in excuses for doing a lousy job of wildlife management.

One can only hope that eventually (probably when it’s too late) biologists will figure out about winter ticks that are killing moose. However, the political agendas (this includes profits and people control) are so strong pertaining to Climate Change, there is little hope that much will change. As a result, a lot of suffering will occur.

In 2012, Maine biologists explained to the public, through their preferred echo chambers, what was causing winter ticks to flourish. One biologist reported, “Winter ticks are affected by what the previous winter was… If you have a lot of snow and a lot of cold, that’s not good for the ticks. If you have less snow and more warmth, it’s really good for the tick.”

This is but one example of countless reports from wildlife biologists regurgitating information of which they know little about. I will not clutter up this page with the hundreds, maybe thousands, of media reports that global warming is responsible for the growth of winter ticks.

The consensus takeaway from all these fake reports is the claim that cold winters and lots of snow will keep the winter tick in check and that because we are experiencing “climate change,” i.e. global warming, places like Maine are not having snowy years and cold temperatures. Thus, winter ticks are flourishing…according to them.

I have reported for several years that lots of snow and cold will have no real impact on the winter tick aside from abnormal events that might occur in late summer or early fall and in the spring.

I have also expressed my concerns that trying to artificially grow moose populations to please guides and wildlife- gawking businesses is what is really contributing to all the ticks.

Attempting to cause people to think for a change and ask simple questions gets tiring. For example, if “Climate Change” (no snow and warmer temperatures in winter) is causing tick growth (sea level rises and other predicted phenomenon that is impossible to measure – we must rely only on well-bribed climate scientists), then other events predicted or used as excuses should be manifesting themselves. The statement “deer are at their northern habitat fringe in Maine” is repeated relentlessly when management tactics by wildlife biologists fail. If we are experiencing enough global warming to cause ticks to grow out of control and seas to rise, then it only makes sense, according to their reasoning, that the “northern fringe” must be migrating north and the deer population growing due to less severe winters.

Another example involves the moose. As I have pointed out, if the increase in winter ticks is caused by a warming climate, then because moose are at their southern habitat range, moose populations in Maine would be decreasing because moose are migrating north.

Are any of these things happening? Would you know even if they were?

But let’s get back to that statement, “If you have a lot of snow and a lot of cold, that’s not good for the ticks. If you have less snow and more warmth, it’s really good for the tick.”

According to the brain trust that promotes global warming as the cause of everything, all that is needed to mitigate this winter tick problem is “a lot of snow and a lot of cold.” Without this condition (caused by Climate Change) ticks do happy dances.

Evidently, it’s more important to rinse and repeat the Media’s echo chambers mantra about the existence of global warming and the myriad theories of death and destruction from a “warming climate” than it is to bother reading what research has been conducted involving the winter tick.

(Note: I have done a lot of that work for you. All you have to do is read it…here.)

As I indicated earlier, perhaps there is some glimmer of hope that eventually some of these wildlife biologists will put their “eye pads” and cell phones away and read some real scientific journals to learn something. Today, I have read in the Bangor Daily News that researchers in Maine who are studying how weather and climate affect tick survival are indicating (and seemingly in agreement with previous tick studies I have referenced for years) that deep snow and cold temperatures may not have the effect on ticks once thought: “From what we’re finding, even with these persistent below-zero temperatures, it’s staying 25, 30, as high as 35 degrees down close to the ground,” said Griffin Dill, coordinator for the tick identification program at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Pest Management Office. “It’s still relatively warm under there … If we have the ticks covered by leaves and covered by a foot or so of snow, chances are, even with these persistent cold temperatures, they’ll be relatively unharmed.”

To be forthcoming and honest, this phenomenon is beneficial to the growth of many other ticks and not so much for the winter tick. I don’t want to be misleading. However, the general consensus among Climate Change wildlife biologists is that if there is lots of snow and cold in the spring when engorged winter ticks drop from the moose, the snow and cold will kill them. Perhaps, but consider what this study reports the temperatures are at ground level. I doubt very seriously that engorged ticks are going to lay on top of the snow, break out their suntan lotion and crack a bottle of Corona. It is possible that conditions might exist to prevent some ticks from getting below the snow surface but according to existing data, it would take a minimum of six consecutive days where temperatures, day and night, would not exceed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. When is the last time in March and April that weather phenomenon existed? I thought so. It should also be noted that persistent sub-zero temperatures will have no effect on ticks hitching a ride on a warm moose’s back for the winter.

In an attempt to understand the reasoning behind blaming global warming, the chore becomes a bit difficult. Winter ticks, we are told, are killing moose. Winter tick infestations at levels high enough to cause death and destruction of moose are caused by global warming. This is convenient. This excuse says it’s not my fault. It’s the fault of global warming, that there are no deer and moose are dying. There’s nothing I can do. Give me millions of dollars and I will conduct studies in an attempt to create more scientism to support my scientismic claims about global warming.

As the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz exclaimed, “If I only had a brain,” so too have our trained biologists readily and eagerly stated, “If we only had lots of snow and lots of cold.”

Well, as much as Maine’s fraternity of “scientists” want to claim that last winter in Maine was “mild,” while parts of Western Maine saw record snowfall, this winter has turned into “lots of snow and lots of cold.” But now, tick scientists are telling us this is good for the ticks.

So what’s it going to be?

That’s easy to predict. It will be what is convenient to fit that narrative, which in turn will ensure those retirement checks in the end.

Business as usual as our moose pile up dead in the woods and biologists attempt to take care of the guides and wildlife gawkers and hoping Climate Change will bail them out.

We should be reminded of what one Alaska State veterinary said about controlling winter ticks: “Once (winter ticks are) introduced in a moose population in an area, the only known way to control it is to reduce the moose density, especially calves, so that there are no hosts available,” she said. “It would require an antler-less hunt or even a cull of calves and yearlings, which would not be something that would be easy to sell to the public.”

GASP!

 

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Killing Deer to Kill “Deer” Ticks

I was reading George Smith’s article about how the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is making plans within their proposals to draft 15-year management plans for deer, to figure out how the state can manage a “socially acceptable” population of deer and at the same time mitigate the affects of Lyme disease, at a socially acceptable level. Lyme disease is believed by most to be carried by the deer and thus deer have become the target. Because the deer is the target, the controversy comes from three different entities – those who find deer cute and cuddly and want them running all about their land; those who want them available in ample supply to hunt and fill their freezers; those who hate hunters and are willing to kill deer so hunters can’t enjoy their sport.

It certainly does appear that reducing deer populations (to what level I’m not sure there is a standard number due to varying influences and environmental factors) will reduce incidences of man contracting Lyme disease.

The life cycle of the tick responsible for carrying the infectious disease, including all directly influencing factors, is complicated. Perhaps the deer has become the easy target due to a lack of understanding about how to interrupt the life cycle of the tick – more appropriately should be called the mouse tick.

The deer is a host.  This means that an adult tick hitches a ride on a deer for the purpose of obtaining a meal of blood. This is all a necessary part of the life cycle. It is not the deer, however that gives the disease to the tick. The tick does infect the deer, but studies have shown that a deer will “cleanse” itself of the disease and thus is not considered a carrier of the disease.

It’s the white-footed mouse that is the main culprit of transmitting the disease. Once infected, the mouse remains a carrying until death. After the tick leaves the deer, the female ticks hatch all new larvae. The larvae make their way to the mouse, where the Lyme disease is passed to the nymph. As I understand the cycle, the tick larvae cannot have the infection but pick it up from the mouse as it becomes a nymph. The infected nymph grows to an adult and begins looking for a host for another blood meal.

Incidentally, the larvae doesn’t only go to the mouse. It can travel to other rodents and small wildlife, where the disease can be passed to the nymph, which can become an adult tick and begin looking for a blood meal.

It would appear that any interruption or change of this cycle would limit or change the prevalence of the tick. One way that has been tried is to reduce the populations of deer. In places where deer populations are very dense, a serious thinning of the herd becomes a reasonable limitation to tick growth and prevalence. It would only make sense…wouldn’t it?

Have we looked enough at finding ways to control the white-footed mouse? Snakes, owls, bobcats, weasels, and foxes are common predators. Are there changes in these predators and their environment that are effecting the white-footed mouse? Short of the use of chemicals, is the “natural” way of keeping mice in check being interrupted some how? Are changes in our ecosystems increasing, decreasing or having no effect on the perpetuation of the tick and Lyme disease?

Modeling in recent years has suggested that perhaps those predators that readily find the white-footed mouse a prey species, have been reduced in numbers to where they are ineffective at any kind of control over the mouse. There are a couple of difficulties in this presentation. First, to my knowledge, the modeling has not been taken to the field, or, if it has, results have not been made public. Another issue is that “scientists” can’t even agree on what predators consider the mouse’s prey. Some say the fox is the biggest predator of the mouse and some say the coyote is. Some say that even though the list of natural predators of the mouse is varied, there is little interruption of the perpetuation of mice.

I would find it interesting that it appears that the incidence of Lyme disease has increased right along with the prevalence of coyotes. If coyotes regularly eat white-footed mice for lunch, wouldn’t it make some sense that this would tend to reduce the prevalence of the spread of Lyme disease?

The argument is also made that the presence of coyotes limits the number of foxes, therefore, fewer mice are eaten. The theory has been laid on the table that coyotes do eat mice, but live in a more spread out habitat than the fox and so the effective result is that fewer mice get eaten, thus more ticks and more disease. Consider also that, for those familiar with the boots-on-the-ground eating habits of the coyote, an animal that will eat anything, the diet of the coyote includes “snakes, owls, bobcats, weasels, foxes and probably any other creature that, given the opportunity, would feast on a white-footed mouse.

So, depending upon which bandwagon best fits your narrative, will determine whether you want to kill deer, mice, or coyotes. For the MDIFW, their job will, more than likely, end up being a matter of making deer management decisions based on social demands rather than good science. But this is nothing new.

But above all,

DON’T GO LOOK!

 

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It’s Like Confirming that Fire is Hot

*Editor’s Note* – Profound! That might be the one word to describe our tax dollars at work in what is being sold in the media as “confirmation” of the existence of deer ticks in places where deer live.

“For the first time, researchers have confirmed the existence of deer ticks at nine national parks in the eastern United States.”<<<Read More>>>

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Researchers Warn of Continuing Lyme Disease Threat from Deer Ticks

“This time of year the deer ticks are much larger, and a lot of the public health messaging that comes out does concern deer ticks that are out in the summertime when they’re quite small,” Lubelczyk says. “The concern is that many people that might be finding larger ticks this time of year won’t realize they’re deer ticks and will just discard them or not be that concerned about them.”

Source: Researchers Warn of Continuing Lyme Disease Threat from Deer Ticks | Maine Public Broadcasting

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