October 17, 2018

And Just What is the “Cure” for Protecting Deer Wintering Areas?

A couple of weeks ago I made my own comments about a recent “study” done by the University of Maine about “zoning” of deer wintering areas. Their useless study, which proved nothing and only caused the authors to formulate nonsensical theories, suggested that saving a small piece of land or forest for deer wintering wasn’t working.

George Smith weighs in on the study, which evidently he finds a valid argument worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. “I’m wondering if DIFW will change its approach to protecting critical deer winter habitat…”

And what exactly should that approach be? Do we take up the role in an, even more, strong-armed and fascist-like determination and simply take land from people in which environmentally-educated people have determined needs to be “protected” in order to “protect” deer?

When people fail in an ability to think for themselves, they can only see man’s destructive ways – real or imagined as drummed into them by Environmentalism. This narrative of man-hating and private property ownership dislike, along with the consumptive use of resources sets the stage for totalitarians to fulfill the wishes of the fascists.

Solving the problem, if it is really all that serious, of protecting deer wintering areas, is not an easy one. What hinders the finding of a solution is the fact that environmental fascism prohibits consideration of other factors.

These people believe deer are stupid and unadaptable. They need to get out of their offices. Do they actually think just because in their tiny minds trees were cut down and ruined what they determined were part of a deer wintering area the deer that go to for the winter months are just going to lay down and die? Evidently.

And all of this while at the same time promoting Climate Change. Why once the oceans stop rising and killing all the coastal deer, there will no longer be a need for deer wintering areas.

KUMBAYA!

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An Epiphany Outside of Environmentalism’s “New Approach” to Wildlife Management

With very little effort and a clear, open mind, it is obvious that when it comes to wildlife management things aren’t looked at in the same way as the tried and proven ways which created the foundation for the North American Model of Wildlife Management. It may, however, come as a surprise to many readers that this new environmentalist’s way of talking about wildlife management is a planned event and not something that just evolved over time – certainly not the result of real scientific research.

What is amazing, to me anyway, is when groups and individuals mired in the muck of environmentalism’s new approach to wildlife management, are forced to see what isn’t intended to be seen in this new approach. It shows itself as some kind of epiphany, as though because of lack of knowledge due mostly to a prohibition of access to historical documentation constructed from the actual scientific process, tested over decades and centuries of time, a moment of brilliance comes bursting through the muddled mess of what today we call modern wildlife management.

We catch a glimpse of this at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) where when it was discovered that winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) were numerous and killing off the state’s moose herd, modern wildlife management’s “new approach” declared the cause was global warming. Every echo chamber around the world wanted to reverberate the woes of man-caused global warming and yes, “we’re all gonna die!” Their emotional claims for cures demanded that the only way to mitigate this winter tick problem that is killing moose populations everywhere was to somehow find a “cure” for global warming – a condition that does not exist in the context of how it is being sold.

Maine began a moose study – determined, it was said, to get at the root causes of what was really reducing the moose population. I have been most pleasantly surprised to discover that Maine’s moose biologists dared break with the mold of “Climate Change ate my homework” and suggested what has been known for a long, long time what was stated by an Alaskan moose biologist in recent years, that the ONLY way to mitigate the winter tick problem is to reduce the population of moose.

In George Smith’s recent column he writes of a book, recommended to him by Maine’s Wildlife Division Director (White as a Ghost by Dr. Bill Samual) who is quoted as saying in his book, “As moose and tick numbers build, moose harvest by hunters is far more appropriate and humane than invasive harvest by winter ticks. We should be able to moderate some of the damage caused by winter ticks for moose by managing moose at below die-off levels.”

(Author’s Note: To dispell the critics who will want to claim that my call, and that of MDIFW’s, to reduce the moose population is rooted in the desire to hunt and kill more moose. For the control of ticks, it must be realized that once a “die-off level” is reached through controlled harvest, that die-off level will need to be maintained even while it changes and fluctuates up and down. That’s what real, responsible wildlife management is.)

Perhaps we can see a bit of this “new approach” to wildlife management in the attitude shown in what Smith writes: “And while this book was published in 2004, it is still very informative and pertinent to our moose/tick problem.” I find it a near incurable disease that has infested academia and every institution that employs science – a refusal to research historic documents, accounts, scientific research, etc. as though it was worthless because it is so old. In this case, the author seems to indicate that observations and documentation of Dr. Samuel aren’t dangerous to the new approach narrative of wildlife management even though it is an ancient history of some 14 years.

In my own research about winter ticks, because of the lack of any modern studies on ticks, I spent the majority of my time reading and studying the ones that have existed for many years. These old documents proved then that global warming could not be the cause of increased tick populations. This is valuable knowledge that should never be discarded because of age even if new studies want to suggest something else.

Some honest effort, with a goal of seeking the truth rather than propping up the new scientismic pathway, can reveal many useful things. This must begin with an attitude that historical scholarship isn’t useless, outdated material – it is the foundation of the Scientific Process.

Instead, we see here where it appears that some miraculous epiphany has caused the resulting talking points to become one of a need to reduce the moose population to solve much of the tick problem rather than wasting time with the mythological Climate Change fantasy.

Maybe the scientific process ruled in this case of the Maine moose study. Perhaps the efforts made and what appears to be a daring and honest assessment of what’s going on has helped to restore my faith that there are still glimmers of hope in wildlife management – that it hasn’t completely gone to the environmental dogs…yet.

These epiphanies present themselves as though a discovery was made, and something is written as old as 2004 supports that discovery. It should be the other way around. That is the scientific process. But, if you don’t know and have not researched the scientific process, this is what we see. In this case, it appears as though a correct conclusion has been reached despite lack of historic scientific knowledge.

There should be a great takeaway from this. We will see.

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Making A New Dog? You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

The Urban Dictionary deems the term “Glossification” as: “…when one has applied the appropriate amount of lip gloss to one’s lips to make them look presentable or more attractive.” Some have likened the event to putting lipstick on a pig.

In today’s world of outcome-based theorizing presented as a scientific study, the desire to appear intelligent and thus powerful drives the intellectual rubbish most accept as viable scholarship. This kind of glossification is known as scientism crafted by scientismists. It can be found almost anywhere.

About a year ago a group of scientismists published a supposition, presented as scientific scholarship, about how large predators, particularly the gray wolf, exposed to “anthropogenic food” (man-created food, i.e. livestock, agriculture, pets, garbage, etc.) may cause the evolution of a new species.

Part of the Abstract reads: “We identify five main ways that carnivores might be affected: changes to social structures, behavior and movement patterns, changes in survivorship across wild- to human-dominated environments, evolutionary divergence, and potential speciation.” (emboldening added)

I’m no smarter than most people and so I wanted to make sure I understood what “speciation” meant. According to the dictionary, it means: “the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution.”

I suppose if you are a subscriber to the true sense of Darwinian Evolution, this is an acceptable fantasy – that is that because of the existence of man in this world we will force the evolution of species into “new” and “distinct” creatures. Of course, the simpleton’s question might be; if this is a reality, then how many other species have become “new and distinct” since man has walked on earth? (Note: Somewhere in this discussion it is necessary to establish an honest determination of what a species is and other subspecies of said species. Oh, the trouble this has put us into.)

Another question might be why hasn’t man become a “new and distinct” species due to the changes in diet and other influences from our surroundings over the past few millenniums?

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that if a wolf is forced into cohabitation with man that there would be social structure changes? Conditions in which all of us live, including animals, change constantly. We adjust. That’s how we survive. This adaptation results in “behavior and movement patterns, changes in survivorship.”

But then the authors of this piece of intellectual bankruptcy morph these observations into “evolutionary divergence” – that is the “…accumulation of differences between groups which can lead to the formation of new species…”

I suppose that we should expect that all “vegans” will, eventually, morph into a new species of humanoid? What shall we call them?

But let’s forget evolution for a moment and examine the other aspect of this entire illusionary contemplation. All assumptions discussed in this imitation scholarship are based on the fantasy that man should not be present in order that plants and animals will live in “healthy” ecosystems.

In today’s world of scientismic fantasy, most often presented in terms where man doesn’t exist to screw everything up, we hear two basic terms to describe needed efforts to make all things Disneyesque – healthy ecosystems and restoration of ecosystems. This approach epitomizes the definition of subjective – “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.”

Who gets to decide what is a healthy ecosystem? Whether you agree or not with what someone defines “healthy ecosystem,” when suppositions are made from the perspective of the absence of man as part of their ecosystem, what difference does any of it make? Who should care? If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it does it make a sound? So long as man walks this earth, all hypotheses in this context are meaningless and serve very little purpose. Who pays for this garbage?

Restoration of an ecosystem can only mean the extinction of man.

Most odd in this intellectual guesswork is that the authors appear as all subscribers to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Their evolution can only occur when something changes. Things cannot evolve unless there is a reason for them to evolve. Yet, in their haste to craft “healthy” ecosystems or to “restore” their ecosystems to fit their definitions of “healthy” and remain that way, they must be insisting on a non-changing environment. To admit otherwise is to destroy their own interpretation of what makes an ecosystem healthy. Isn’t this nothing but circular thinking?

It is one thing to discuss how it might be best to manage our environment, to find ways that man and large predators can share living and recreational landscapes, it is quite another to attempt to devise “healthy” ecosystems based on preconceived theories absent the presence of man and/or to “restore” ecosystems to what someone’s fantasy might be.

The real nonsense may just be that someone actually believes that a wolf that eats man-caused foods will one day become a new and distinct species of dog. What I can guarantee is that in a desire to make this fantasy come true, so long as we continue to protect and force wolves to live in man-settled landscapes, cross-breeding between wolves and other canines will take place. This act will result in yet one more breed of dog. Scientismists will be eager to jump to the conclusion of a “new” and “distinct” species. It will be what fits their narrative and saves them embarrassment.

When the vegans of this world have evolved into a new species of humanoid, we must ensure that both the new humanoid and the new species of dog can live in the same environments without either one of them being influenced by the other. Of course, this is biologically impossible unless perhaps we can evolve them into inanimate objects.

 

 

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Almost All Good News Out of Maine About Moose

According to the Portland Press Herald, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has made a proposal to increase the number of allotted moose hunting permits by 420, with all of that increase in the far northern part of the state – WMD 1-6.

MDIFW is still estimating the state’s moose population at between 50,000 and 70,000 (far too high) but we mustn’t forget that increasing moose permits to 2,500 is a far cry from the over 4,000 permits allotted by chance in 2013.

However, is there hope on our horizon? Is the MDIFW, and in particular the moose biologists, beginning to see things a bit differently? Maybe. Let’s review some of the comments found in this article.

In the order that they appear: First, “A 20 percent increase is very conservative,” said Judy Camuso, wildlife division director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “We’re doing it in the core moose range in Maine where we have excellent survival among cow moose – around 90 percent.” Yes, 20% is very small but it is a step in the right direction. I wanted to point out to readers that the remainder of the quote is actually quite meaningless. In pointing out the need to raise moose permits “in core moose range,” Camuso says that is where they find “excellent survival among cow moose.”

Excellent survival means nothing if we don’t know how “survival” is defined in this context. Example: generally if a biologist speaks of calf survival rates, it’s most often based on a yearling calf surviving the winter – recruitment. To speak of cow survival does that mean one winter or for the average lifespan of a female moose? It is important to know.

Second, we read, “Camuso said state biologists are already talking about increasing permits in 2019 dramatically in at least one hunting district where there has been higher calf mortality because of winter tick infestation. Such an increase would be used as a test to see whether culling the moose population in areas with a higher incidence of winter ticks can lead to a healthier herd.” (Emphasis added)

Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor, read further: “Winter ticks play a big part in calf survival,” Camuso said. “In the (more southerly) areas of moose range calf mortality is high. Higher densities of a host species usually perpetuates the parasite. And climate is absolutely a part of the equation.” (Emphasis added)

I have to disagree somewhere here. Upon a considerable amount of research on the winter ticks, it would be dishonest to state that climate is “absolutely” a part of winter tick survival. Maine’s climate is not absolutely an influencing factor for winter ticks. Weather phenomenon may play a limited roll in tick survival but it is certain that availability of a host blood meal (moose) is of ABSOLUTE importance.

Third, With any wildlife population, when there are too many animals on the landscape it’s not a good thing,” Camuso said. “Based on the public feedback from polling, people in Maine support a healthy population, even if that means fewer moose.” (Emphasis added)

It is refreshing to actually hear wildlife biologists expressing to the mainstream press that “too many animals…is not a good thing.” If true, it is equally refreshing to learn that people in Maine support fewer moose, if it means healthier moose. Do they really mean that? Do they understand what they are saying?

It is seldom, like almost never, that any wildlife biologist would even suggest that there are limits to the number of pounds of apples you can put in a 5-pound sack. If this proposed test is to take place in a WMD that has a lot of moose – reducing the population to moose to see if it mitigates the tick infestation – showed it to be true in controlling ticks, this would surely upset the global warming applecart. It is for that reason I see little hope that such a test would amount to much of anything, but I guess one can only hope. The myth of global warming is so deeply entrenched in everyone’s way of thinking, it is hopeless to think any of this will change.

However, this news comes as good news – more moose permits to lower population numbers in some areas, and a test area to see if reducing moose numbers reduces tick numbers. I hope MDIFW doesn’t keep the results a secret.

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Global Warming Science Settled, No Definitive Answers in Relationship Between Moose and Wolves

Is it money, politics, or stupidity that drives so-called science today? Dang!

It’s unfathomable that any scientist or group of scientists can make stark, unequivocal conclusions about “Climate Change” with basically no data to support it except computer modeling, and yet, when evidence that the presence and number of wolves in a region is directly proportional to the number of moose (or any large prey), today’s scientists claim they cannot make any definitive conclusions.

Just bizarre!

Dr. David Mech, a tool of Environmentalism, whose positions on wolves, blows in the direction the money is coming from, is part of a study in a portion of northeast Minnesota where he says, “We do not claim that wolf numbers only influence moose population during declines nor that wolves are the only factor affecting moose numbers.” And further claims that the recent data collected in this study is but “suggestive information.”

This study shows that since 2001, moose populations have been reduced from an estimated 9,000 to under 4,000 at the same time wolf numbers doubled. In addition, calf survival was cut from nearly one calf per cow to .24 calves per cow. Recent trends, according to the report, indicate wolf numbers have dropped some and at the same time moose numbers have increased. But, you know, it’s all about “Climate Change!”

To an idiot, this is merely “suggestive information.” Whereas, a computer model, less than suggestive, proven over and over and over to be inaccurate, faulty and a waste of time and money, allows many of these same scientists to conclude that global warming is real and “the science is settled.”

 

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Into the Fifth Year of a Moose Study and Maine Residents Are Given Zero Real Information

I found in the Bangor Daily News a very short ditty (130 words) about the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) ongoing moose study. The article states that Maine is in its fifth year of the study. So, what do we know about the study? Not a thing. Will we ever? Doubtful.

For the five years, all that has ever been shared about the moose and deer studies are little benign oh-by-the-way statements that never contain anything of value. Why not? Why doesn’t MDIFW’s website publish updated reports of both studies?

In the end, the public will be blessed with such things as ticks this, and global warming that.

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Data from: Compensatory selection for roads over natural linear features by wolves in northern Ontario: implications for caribou conservation

*Editor’s Note* – This editor would like to know two things. One, does the study account for fluctuations in wolf densities? In other words, while one probably cannot argue that the availability of corridors, man-made or natural, increases the rate of depredation of prey, how does this rate vary according to the variance of wolf populations and prey populations?

Second, is this fundamental suggestion within this study, a generalization that can be carried over to other predator/prey relationships that seem to require travel corridors to carry out their kills?

Abstract
Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) in Ontario are a threatened species that have experienced a substantial retraction of their historic range. Part of their decline has been attributed to increasing densities of anthropogenic linear features such as trails, roads, railways, and hydro lines. These features have been shown to increase the search efficiency and kill rate of wolves. However, it is unclear whether selection for anthropogenic linear features is additive or compensatory to selection for natural (water) linear features which may also be used for travel. We studied the selection of water and anthropogenic linear features by 52 resident wolves (Canis lupus x lycaon) over four years across three study areas in northern Ontario that varied in degrees of forestry activity and human disturbance. We used Euclidean distance-based resource selection functions (mixed-effects logistic regression) at the seasonal range scale with random coefficients for distance to water linear features, primary/secondary roads/railways, and hydro lines, and tertiary roads to estimate the strength of selection for each linear feature and for several habitat types, while accounting for availability of each feature. Next, we investigated the trade-off between selection for anthropogenic and water linear features. Wolves selected both anthropogenic and water linear features; selection for anthropogenic features was stronger than for water during the rendezvous season. Selection for anthropogenic linear features increased with increasing density of these features on the landscape, while selection for natural linear features declined, indicating compensatory selection of anthropogenic linear features. These results have implications for woodland caribou conservation. Prey encounter rates between wolves and caribou seem to be strongly influenced by increasing linear feature densities. This behavioral mechanism – a compensatory functional response to anthropogenic linear feature density resulting in decreased use of natural travel corridors – has negative consequences for the viability of woodland caribou.<<<Read More>>>

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Buying Into Deer Management by Political Influence

Recently a Maine outdoor writer expressed his newly found knowledge he had acquired from reading a 10-year-old study about how deer can destroy a forest. What is most unfortunate for readers is that lacking in this report was the actual history of what took place during that time that prompted this politically biased report, placing pressure on the Pennsylvania Game Commission, forest management companies and private land owners to side with the Game Commission in carrying out their newly crafted deer management plan to radically butcher the existing deer herds throughout the state by up to 70%.

If for no other reason, one has to look at the very top of the study to see that the study was composed by, essentially, the forest industry. With knowledge and understanding, which so few people have these days, of the realities of “studies,” founded in Scientism and outcome-based, agenda-driven, “science,” one can easily discern that this study is the work of scientists, paid by the forest industry, to show a need to protect the forest, even at the expense of a deer herd.

There is, of course, more than one side to any story. The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania sued the Pennsylvania Game Commission to try to get them to stop the destruction of the deer herd. However, many believed the number of deer in Pennsylvania to be much too large, in some places sporting numbers in excess of 60-70 deer per square mile. Growing up and hunting in Maine, where at times to find 1 deer in 60-70 square miles was a feat, it’s difficult to muster up support for those complaining that reducing deer populations to 15-20 deer per square mile would be a total destruction of the deer herd. There is a balance in there somewhere and it’s not based strictly on numbers but on a wide variety of items, often mostly driven by habitat and available feed on a continuous level.

The study in question is more of a political influence prompted by a very nasty set of events set in the mid-2000s. No study should be blindly accepted as the gospel without a deep forensic research into the background of the study and the whos and whys it is being done. Few would argue that too many of any animal within a defined area of the landscape can be destructive, in more ways than simply eating too much vegetation. But at the same time, a biased study, bought and paid for by the forest industry, has to be taken with a grain of salt and definitely within the context of the events at that moment in time. That is why the author should have spent a little more time in conducting his own research about the politics behind this study before extolling its “scientific” virtues as high value.

At the time this study was being compiled, those of us who followed the event, saw typical political nonsense loaded with contradictions. As an example, the forest industry, seemingly having convinced the Game Commission, that the only way the forest industry could survive was to have the deer densities slashed to around 15 deer per square mile. The same forest industry and Game Commission said that their new deer management plan would manage and maintain populations at that level, and yet in May of 2008, we read in the news that a member of the Pennsylvania Game Commission said that in one region, where deer densities had been reduced to 15-20 per square mile, the deer where healthy, the forest had “regenerated,” and that now the deer herd could be rebuilt. Rebuilt? Huh?

The author’s piece also revealed, what he called, “troubling,” a statement made by an author of the study in question. “It doesn’t matter what forest values you want to preserve or enhance – whether deer hunting, animal rights, timber, recreation, or ecological integrity – deer are having dramatic, negative effects on all the values that everyone holds dear.”

This is, of course, the root of all things bad when it comes to wildlife and game management. The real scientific method has gone absent. The study in question is a work of Scientism, in which those with authority present their opinions and perspectives as scientific evidence, understanding full well the power derived by such a position. When scientific decisions are disregarded and replaced with caving in to social and socio-political groups because deer, or any other animal, is having “dramatic, negative effects on all the values” that these, sometimes perverse groups “holds dear,” what hope is there for responsible game management? We can always expect to read more fake “studies” bought and paid for by political groups for political purposes.

Interesting that the reality is that none of these social groups would be in any position to be seeking the preservation of their perceived values as they might pertain to wildlife, if, over the past century, the hunters, trappers and fishermen had not been the financiers and willing participants in the execution of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. And yet, these social and political groups, who are now dominating the fish and wildlife agencies across the country, have never paid a lick of money or given any time toward real conservation of wildlife, are looking to destroy the one proven existence that has brought us to this point. Go figure.

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War On Bad Science? Or Is It A War on Preferred Bad Science?

Arnold says that now, unless he trusts a researcher’s work, he no longer believes the findings of any scientific study until he or someone on the staff carefully vets the paper. “A new study shows …” are “the four most dangerous words,” Arnold wrote on Twitter.

Together with Taubes’ work, Arnold was also reading Ioannidis’ and Gold­acre’s equally devastating analyses. These critiques of science amounted to a deep philosophical quandary for the Arnolds, philanthropists who had dedicated their lives to a data-based approach to giving. “In everything they do, they want to be evidence-driven,” says Stuart Buck, vice president of research integrity at the Arnold Foundation. But if you look at the studies that can’t be reproduced and other issues facing science, “you start to think: What is evidence? What do we actually know?”

The Arnolds had already decided that, with decades of life ahead of them and almost unlimited resources, they had the time and money to evaluate charitable programs properly, even when that meant paying for expensive randomized controlled trials that could take years to complete. But now they were widening their scope. If they wanted to embark on truly “transformational change,” as their foundation literature states, it wouldn’t be enough to properly evaluate this or that education or criminal justice program. They would also have to take on a far more ambitious project: The Arnolds would have to try and fix science itself.<<<Read More>>>

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Are Radio Tracking Collars Just a Waste of Money?

One might think so.

I was reading last night a story about what authorities in Minnesota are saying is killing their moose. According to this report, Minnesota once had 8,840 moose in 2006 and now there are only 3,710 “based on aerial surveys in January.”

What about those surveys?

We are told that that between 2013 and 2015, 173 moose were collared as part of a planned study to determine why the moose were dying. It has been reported that because of animal rights perverts’ complaints about the study (probably fearing the study might prove their ideology wrong), the governor stopped any further collaring of moose and essentially the study ended and one has to wonder whether much or any of the information they claim to publish is worth camel dung.

The report says, “Of 173 moose that were captured and fitted with GPS-transmitting collars from 2013 to 2015, here’s what happened to them:

* 28 moose are still alive with collars that are working.

* 53 are believed to be alive but their collars have stopped working.

* 23 are presumed to be still alive but their collars fell off and their status is unknown.
* 12 died immediately after being collared so were not part of the mortality study.
* 57 died with working collars and are the basis for the mortality study data — the moose where cause of death is known”
57 moose, out of 3,710 is the sample used in making their determinations as to what is killing Minnesota’s moose. I doubt that the pie chart they have provided is very accurate and can tell us only what perhaps killed those 57 moose.
But it gets worse. Minnesota officials tell us that collars are very problematic. “It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. But it’s still a developing technology. Everyone who uses collars like this has issues. There’s a lot that can go wrong,”
The report also contains some other interesting bits of information. As an example, some have determined that the moose are “malnourished.” Undernourishment is being blamed on habitat and there are indications that the highest survival rates for moose are coming in areas that recently saw very large forest fires and the forests have begun to regenerate.
In addition, calf survival rates are running around 30% which, if accurate, tells us it is doubtful that there would be any growth in the moose herd contributed from newborn moose. And, those moose calves, according to Minnesota officials, are being killed mostly by wolves and bear.
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