October 20, 2019

Shock! Predation Number One Factor in Deer Fawn Deaths

“In a 2003 study of fawn mortality, the Pennsylvania Game Commission captured and collared 110 fawns from an agricultural area and 108 from a heavily forested region. Nine weeks after capture, 28 percent of the farmland fawns, and 43 percent of the big-woods deer, were dead. Twenty-six weeks after capture, mortality rates were 42% and 55% respectively. And those numbers closely mirror to an ongoing fawn-mortality study in Wisconsin.

In other words, there’s close to a 50% chance that the fawn I saw wobbling down my folk’s driveway is not going to be alive by the end of November. Predation is the number one factor in fawn deaths (black bears and coyotes top the list, depending on the area, with bobcats taking a few), followed by “natural causes” (usually starvation), vehicle accidents, and finally, hunting.

Research like this is important, especially as predator numbers are generally on the rise across much of the nation. Bear populations are strong in the North, and southern biologists have been dealing with a coyote boom for years. It wasn’t long ago when the general attitude of game managers was to dismiss the impact of predators on deer populations. Today’s biologists have no such luxury and must factor this in when setting quotas for hunting seasons.”<<<Read More>>>

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Maine Official Says Moose Population Holding Steady, BUT……..

According to a report found on WCSH-TV website, Lee Kantar, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife moose biologist, says he believes the moose population is holding steady in Maine, even though 13 of the 60 cow and calf moose collared this year for a moose study have died.

Personally, I would have a difficult time being so optimistic as I believe that to be an unusually high mortality rate. However, Kantar seems to pass it off as the result of a severe winter and winter ticks.

However, I find one statement in this report disturbing.

Biologist Lee Kanter is heading up the program in Maine. His study is ongoing, but he suspects it will reveal a higher than average mortality rate among calves. Adult moose will continue to reproduce so Kanter believes we’ll see just a blip in the population.

The problem with this statement is it fails to state the not so obvious to most people; that even though adult moose will continue to reproduce, there will be fewer of them to do that. Recruitment is a term used to describe the number or percentage of new-born moose that survive their first winter. For a herd to “hold steady” it means that recruitment must at least equal the loss of adult reproducing moose.

If a recruitment rate is smaller than adult moose loss over a sustained period of time, the herd will continue to be decimated. It appears Kantar is betting on an easing of severe winters and his claim that ticks will fall off moose into deep snow and die, will lessen the effects of ticks next winter.

It would have been helpful if Mr. Kantar, or the person filing the report, had been more forthcoming on why Kantar suspects the mortality on calves to be “higher than average.”

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Human Echinococcosis Mortality in the United States, 1990–2007

We identified 41 echinococcosis-related deaths among US residents during the period 1990–2007 (Table 1). Age-adjusted mortality rates were higher in males (0.012 per 106) than in females (0.005 per 106), with males more than 2 times as likely to die from echinococcosis than were females (adjusted rate ratio = 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.9).

Although these data are population based and contain large numbers of observations, death certificates likely underreport causes of death and may contain errors, which have been attributed to a variety of factors.

Fatal echinococcosis may be more common in the United States than currently appreciated. Echinococcosis causes a mortality burden in the United States that may be modified by increased prevention and control efforts, including vaccine development for adult cestode carriers and livestock [13]. Given the presence of echinococcosis mortality in US-born persons, and the risk of travel-related exposure, hygiene precautions should be advised for individuals traveling to Echinococcus species endemic areas. Clinicians should be aware of the diagnosis, particularly in foreign-born patients from Echinococcus endemic areas, and should consider tropical infectious disease consultation early.<<<Read More>>>

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