November 24, 2017

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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Nature Balances Itself Unless I Say It Doesn’t (Fits My Narrative)

Stupid people want to believe what they want to believe because….well, they are stupid. One of the giant echo-chambers, ad nauseam, is that “nature balances itself.” Short of debating what nature and balance is, honestly educated people understand that balance in nature is not the idealistic Disney movie they have been taught…but few are capable.

Included in the echo-chambers of filthy perversion we also hear that wolves are an “apex” predator. There is only one apex predator and we walk upright on two legs…period. We are told that wolves are important and a necessary part of our ecosystems because they “balance out our ecosystems.” What fantasy! What nonsense! What hypocrisy!

However, somebody always has a “study” to prove their romantic, biological, perverse and extremely stupid assumptions about the role of wolves in our fields and forests.

But what nonsense, fantasy and hypocrisy. Consider the latest tripe about another new “study” that concludes that wolves need more room to do what wolves do. No, you can’t make this crap sandwich up. Somebody stupid has to dream it up and so they have. “Wirsing co-authored a new study in the journal Nature Communications. He said current land management policies don’t offer apex predators enough space, but that doesn’t mean he wants to see wolves roaming rampant across North America. ??

“We need to allow predators to occupy more landscapes than just remote, protected areas,” Wirsing said. “On the other hand, we also need to heavily manage them, recognizing that they do conflict with people.””

Unless you’re incapable of basic understanding, try to understand what this person is saying. First he calls the wolf an apex predator. In the context of what is written, there must be several “apex predators” in his mind. How can that be? He says wolves don’t have enough space, and that they need to be “allowed to roam” and be “heavily managed.”

What happened to balance of nature and the wolf that changes the paths of rivers and streams? Why does anything, according to the environmentally insane, need to be managed or heavily managed, if nature balances itself out? And if the wolf is so damned wonderful and powerful, and does all these clowns say it does, and is a necessary and important part of our ecosystems, why can’t the wolf create its own space?

If the wolf is an apex predator, that means the wolf is not prey to any other animal…I guess including man. I ask again, if this is at all true, why doesn’t the wolf create its own space?

Morons want their cake and eat it too. They want wolves to retain a status in excess of the existence of man. And yes, many prefer the lives of wolves over the lives of man. They mouth that “nature” balances itself and that when it is not in balance it is because of the evils of man. Once they have fought for that false idol, then they can manage everything else as it fits their narratives and fulfills their agendas – but somehow it’s not management and manipulation. This appears to be the ultimate in insanity, in which these gODS of the ecosystems kill anything, man, beast of plant, to save whatever the animal worship of the day might be.

A simple honest read-search of history, reveals to us that wolves did once exist in many places in North America. That was when essentially there were few people around. The environmentalists readily admit that man did a number on wolves as they settled the landscapes from East to West. It happened. It was going to happen. It could not be stopped. That is how things are. It sucks to hate man so much that you would prefer the existence of any animal over theirs. Now, with idiots in charge, although they won’t necessarily come right out and say it, we have a choice – either man goes or the wolves go.

Why do you think they are so persistent with forcing wolves into our backyards and onto our ranches and farms? Wolves DO NOT belong in man-settled landscapes.

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Moose Did Okay This Winter – Must Be The Global Warming

“Despite struggles in recent years, Maine’s state animal had a high survival rate over the winter. State moose biologist Lee Kantar says state data show about half of moose calves studied in western Maine have survived this year.”<<<Read More>>>

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New Study Shows Americans’ Deep Appreciation for Nature, Barriers to Connection

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

*Editor’s Note* – If you believe the propaganda that follows, isn’t this just further proof that those who have the most influence in the decision-making process of fish and wildlife agencies, etc. are those who don’t, can’t and won’t enjoy any of it but somehow feel entitled to have and control, if only in their minds. No matter how many magic wands you wave, you will not change this mind set.

Contact with nature is an important part of growing up and linking Americans to one another; competing priorities and other factors impede getting outdoors.

The findings from an unprecedented national study of Americans’ relationship to nature reveal an alarming disconnection, but also widespread opportunities for reconnecting. The results are prompting nature conservation, environmental education, and outdoor recreation leaders to rethink how they work to connect people with nature.

The Nature of Americans National Report: Disconnection and Recommendations for Reconnection reveals important insights from a study of nearly 12,000 adults, 8 to 12 year old children, and parents, and provides actionable recommendations to open the outdoors for all.

Americans encounter a number of society-wide forces disconnecting them from nature. Americans face competing priorities for their time, attention, and money. They live in places that often have more concrete than green space. It is increasingly normal to spend little time outside.

  • More than half of adults report spending five hours or less in nature each week, and most are satisfied with this minimal amount of time. Many parents and older adults lament that children today are growing up with limited opportunities to experience nature.
  • Parents say their 8 to 12 year old children spend three times as many hours with computers and TVs each week as they do playing outside.

Despite these challenges, there is opportunity. Americans of all backgrounds recognize that nature helps them grow healthy, be happy, and enjoy family and friends. Adults and children enjoy their time in nature. They feel affection for nature, are attracted to its beauty, appreciate its resources, and value its role in intellectual and spiritual development.

  • Over three-quarters of adults rate contact with nature as very or extremely important for their physical health and emotional outlook.
  • One-quarter of parents surveyed say contact with nature has improved their child’s weight, attention span, energy, anxiety, asthma or other health outcomes.
  • Three-quarters of adults support increasing the number of programs for Americans to enjoy nature, the outdoors, and wildlife. More than one-half think programs for Americans to enjoy nature and wildlife are underfunded.
  • Seven out of 10 children surveyed would rather explore woods and trees than play on neat-looking grass. Eight out of 10 like activities such as climbing trees and camping.

Restoring Americans’ connection to nature requires overcoming the gap between interest and action.

The Nature of Americans National Report details recommendations for restoring Americans’ connection to nature, including:

  • Pay close attention to—and respond to—adults’ existing concerns about younger generations’ disconnection from nature.
  • For adults and children, promote nature not only as a place for experiences, but also as a place for involvement and care.
  • Assure adults and children that time in nature can be (and even ought to be) social.
  • Support mentorship that extends beyond the parent–child relationship.
  • Carefully consider how different sectors promote what “good” connection with nature is or ought to be.
  • Deepen local experiences in nature near home.
  • For children and adults, use geographically local or familiar activities as a bridge to geographically distant or unfamiliar activities.
  • Provide socially safe and satisfying places outdoors, especially for urban and minority adults and children.
  • Promote experiences in nature that match Americans’ multidimensional values of nature.
  • For adults, promote conservation efforts as a way to improve their overall community and quality of life.
  • Join parents, children, and adults alike in recognizing that expenditures on children’s engagement with nature are fundamentally important investments.
  • Build partnerships among professionals in healthcare, education, urban planning, conservation, community development, and other sectors.

The core premise of these recommendations is that connection to nature is not a dispensable amenity but, rather, is essential to the health, economic prosperity, quality of life, and social well-being of all Americans.

The Nature of Americans is led by DJ Case & Associates. It builds on the late Dr. Stephen R. Kellert’s research on the importance of contact with nature to human well-being. This unique public–private collaborative is sponsored by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Disney Conservation Fund, Morrison Family Foundation, Wildlife Management Institute, and Yale University.

More information and reports are available at NatureofAmericans.org.

Following are quotes from collaborators:

“This study will be of great importance to us as we look for ways to best engage Americans of all backgrounds in nature, wildlife conservation and their public lands. It’s our job not only to help friends and families connect their passion for the outdoors with their great National Wildlife Refuge System heritage, but also to ensure that this unparalleled American legacy of public lands stewardship for the benefit of all continues long into the future.”

Jim Kurth, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
“Americans clearly care about nature and recognize its benefits for their health and wellbeing. Yet alarmingly, The Nature of Americans research findings show it is becoming normal to stay indoors. Our challenge is to work together to reverse that trend and ensure that more of us experience the natural world. These results will help fish and wildlife agencies across the nation encourage more Americans to get outdoors and enjoy fish and wildlife resources.”

Nick Wiley, President, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
“We are proud to have helped support The Nature of Americans study, which reinforces the importance of developing compelling content and experiences that connect people to the magic of nature. It is so critical that we all work together to help the next generation live happier and healthier lives – while inspiring them to care for the environment.”

Kevin Callahan, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company
“The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida is a proud partner in this ground-breaking research. Floridians clearly shared how important their connection to nature is, and how vital it is to continue efforts to instill in our children a love and respect for the out of doors. The results of this remarkable project will have lasting effects for generations to come.”

Richard “Dick” Corbett, Chairman, Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida
“The vitality of our state’s efforts to conserve our wild things and wild places depends on the connection Texans have with the natural world around them. For us to be successful engaging our diverse and burgeoning communities, it is imperative that we understand how people from all ages, backgrounds, and geographies view nature and how they choose to experience the outdoors. The Nature of Americans study helps answer these fundamental questions, giving us much-needed insight about how best to tailor future outreach, programs, and services to meet people where they really are, not where we assume they are.”

Carter Smith, Executive Director, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
“The results and recommendations of this unprecedented study chart a clear path towards happier, healthier lives. Parents and organizations must make outside activities a priority in their lives. Whether at a national park, wildlife refuge, state or neighborhood park, or in the backyard, Americans must connect to nature to fully develop socially and physically.”

Steve Williams, President, Wildlife Management Institute
“We live in a world more and more disconnected from nature, but the growing question—and perhaps the one of most concern—is why. This groundbreaking research delves into the depths of this disconnect with nature to give conservation organizations a glimpse of the hard work that needs to happen to keep conservation relevant in the 21st century. This is a call to action and we must act!”

Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Conservation
“I’m proud that during my tenure as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director, we provided major financial support for this incredibly important research. Now, as president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, I’m heartened to see that zoos and aquariums rank among the favorite, most popular, and most memorable nature activities of parents and children, but especially children. Because America is increasingly urban, it is clear that zoos, aquariums, and nature and science centers will become increasingly important opportunities for people to connect to and enjoy the benefits of nature. AZA’s 232 accredited members are ready to run toward this opportunity.”

Dan Ashe, President and CEO, Association of Zoos and Aquariums
“This study illuminates what many of us have known to be true for years — that we enjoy and benefit from our time outdoors, but don’t get outside nearly enough; that access to, and comfort in, nature is divided along racial lines; and that we develop a love for nature when we are able to experience it regularly and socially. Now — armed with data affirming these statements — I am hopeful that we will all take more seriously the importance of connecting children and adults with the natural world. We look forward to supporting the creative and thoughtful programming that this data demands of us.”

Lois Morrison, Executive Director, Harold H. and Adeline S. Morrison Family Foundation
“As one of the foremost non-profit conservation organizations focused on protecting and restoring habitat, Ducks Unlimited is very interested in the results of this important study of Americans and nature. We have long recognized the benefits of the natural world to people and our society, and this outstanding study not only reinforces how important it is, but also informs Ducks Unlimited about how to design our work to help contribute to Americans living healthier and happier lives.”

Dale Hall, CEO, Ducks Unlimited
“The extraordinarily insightful Nature of Americans study illuminates both the longing for and barriers to the natural world, and offers new documentation that will help those who connect children, families and communities to the natural world. For example, the insight that nature experience is so often an intensely social activity, a reminder of a sometimes forgotten key to connecting children to nature. Congratulations to the late Steve Kellert and DJ Case for such fine work.”

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network

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Climate Change is Affecting Brain Cells of Reporters and Scientists

Hell, why not. I vowed I wasn’t going to waste my time further correcting and offering some honest appraisal of the way in which agenda-driven journalists and scientists use speculation and unproven statements of fact to sell copy and/or promote an agenda – one that most often in connected with money.

However…….

I was reading the other day an article published by Accuweather.com carrying with it the title, “Moose-Killing Ticks Thrive in Shorter Winters Due to Climate Change.” It is so filled with inaccuracies and outright fraud that I couldn’t let it fall by the wayside. More people need to call these frauds out and make them pay.

Let’s start at the beginning. I will post here a statement and then offer rebuttal.

“Moose calves across northern New England are dying at alarming rates, and scientists believe that deadly parasites benefiting from shorter winters are the primary culprits.” – Please understand simple English. Scientists “believe” does NOT verify any such fact. As a matter of fact, if you took the time to read every available “study” on this topic, nearly all of the information is copy and pasted from someone else and text is loaded with terms such as, “believe,” “suspect,” “might,” “assumed,” etc. I acknowledge that Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are in the middle of moose studies, mostly to determine the causes of death. If they are able to do this, God only knows what useless drivel they will charge us with after the fact. Instead of reporting that “scientists believe,” perhaps a bit more honesty would be a better approach, i.e. “from information gathered to this point of the study, along with data and information provided from previous studies, winter ticks are found to be…….blah, blah, blah. But that doesn’t sell copies nor does it sway public opinion, leaving them with the unsubstantiated, hyperbolic, emotional, clap-trap claims that winter ticks, due, of course, to “Climate Change” are killing moose “at alarming rates.” And to further clarify, I might ask, is this “alarming” rate one of perspective from the author, the scientist, the next-door neighbor, the dog or the cat? How does this “alarming” rate compare to other years, perhaps dating back to the time of Noah? They won’t tell you because they don’t know.

“…killing about 70 percent of moose calves.” – Where does this information come from? (Boston Globe) It is important to know because I have spent enough hours, days, weeks, months and years studying this information to know that there exists a tiny number of actual studies of the winter tick or moose tick (Dermacentor albipictus) to know that even within the handful of studies, one study is used to support the other study…as studies go. Right or wrong, it matters not to a reporter interested in a story. Where did this statistic come from? It is important because for one, it renders much of the entire article without any credibility. But, again, that doesn’t stop the effort to sell copy.

““It’s just off the charts; this should not happen with such frequency,” said [the] chairman of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). “This is about a calf carrying 75,000 ticks that are draining it of blood.”” – This is emotional clap-trap, which, of course, sells copies. I understand the use of an analogy to describe what this person perceives as a whole bunch of ticks that are found on moose. If you’ve seen a moose covered in winter ticks, it is quite astonishing. However, a scientist/professional should refrain from such emotional nonsense. “Off the charts.” What charts. Is this person saying that he has historic, scientific charts that show that 75,000 winter ticks on a moose is the highest it’s ever been? If so, produce them. If not, one has to wonder if there isn’t money to be made by influencing public opinion while playing on their emotions by describing the dire misery a poor and innocent moose calf might be experiencing.

This same person also states, “this should not happen with such frequency.” How does he know this? Once again I ask that he provide the historic, scientific documentation that shows ticks in numbers of 75,000 is higher than it’s ever been. Or is this about perpetuating an unproven theory about Climate Change and attaching it to a moose study that might be in need of more money?

“… at the center of a six-year study in which researchers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are attaching tracking devices to moose as part of an effort to learn how ticks are affecting them.” – I have addressed this in the past. The claim by all three state’s studies is that they are trying to determine the mortality rates of moose and what forms of mortality are causing it. To claim that part of the study is to determine “how ticks are affecting” moose, cannot be done, other than to perhaps devise some percentage figure of how many moose deaths are caused by ticks. To learn how ticks affect moose, one must undertake a separate study of the tick, instead of simply relying on sketchy, echo-chamber studies that make claims that still remain unsubstantiated.

“In addition, unlike deer and other animals, moose appear to do a poorer job of removing ticks through grooming.” – This is an unscientific claim, for what purpose I’m not sure. “moose appear to do a poorer job.” I have to ask the question, appear to whom? Is it what the reporter perceives in his or her travels and research on moose, or is this just something he or she reads someplace else, repeating over and over again? I have read often in winter ticks studies that “it is thought to be” that moose aren’t as good at grooming as other wild ungulates, but I’ve never seen any scientific substantiation of that claim. Of course that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. So, in short, we really don’t know if moose are poor groomers or whether the smell of their hair is a giant attractant, or some other such reason that might cause moose to attract winter ticks more than other ungulates. Why not? One guess is as good as another.

(Note: Readers should bear in mind that finding cures, answers and solutions to such scientific/biological “problems” dries up the money source. Finding solutions sends these scientists to the poor house.)

“Winter ticks may be thriving in part due to the New England ecosystem being disrupted by global climate change. According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist …., the average winter temperature in Maine has climbed 4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1895 and 2015.

“This region of the country is one of the areas that’s warming the fastest in the lower 48 (U.S. states),”” – I emphasized “may be” again, because it is not a scientific term. How can you report on science by repeatedly using such wishy-washy terms? But here’s the real kicker – one that the worshipers of Climate Change refuse or are incapable of understanding.

According to what this reporter says, a meteorologist claims that between 1895 and 2015 Maine “average winter temperature” has increased 4 degrees F. It is completely dishonest for any meteorologist to make this claim unless they can provide proof of the following extremely important elements of scientific temperature research: 1. That since 1895 the science collecting agency – it must remain the same agency providing the same data – is using the exact same equipment in 2015 that it used in 1895, and, 2. That the locations of the collection sites have not changed both geographically and its immediate surroundings, and, 3. That the agency responsible for the collection and perpetration of temperature data hasn’t “fudged” the data to promote agendas – that is agendas that are sure to continue the flow of cash as well as perpetuation of political agendas.

Science 101 tells us that in making comparative judgements of possible changes in anything, all testing and equipment used, etc. must always remain constant. How else can you make an honest assessment?

It has been often repeated in news reports (and yes, you decide if any of the information in those reports is truthful or not) that the locations of where temperatures are taken, have moved all over the map, destroying that portion of consistency. We can only assume that the equipment has all changed. Do we trust those involved to have made honest adjustments and provided transparency to inquiring minds as to how changes to sample collecting may have been altered?

We know that there has been more than one occasion when those involved with Climate Change, have lied about information and have manipulated the data in order to support claims made or to continue the promotion of collecting research monies and political agendas. NOAA, it was recently discovered, deliberately changed its data to influence “charts” like the one provided by Accuweather in this article to promote Climate Change. This is a criminal act but ignored because people just want, so badly, to be True Believers.

“According to …, a staff entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the winter tick benefits from a warming climate.” – Unless this person has conducted studies on the winter tick to make such a determination, it would be my guess that he is simply supporting the Climate Change Echo-Chamber. There is little science done that would support this claim, and others. If anything, it suggests the opposite.

““In the past, snowfall and freezing temperatures in early/mid spring have curbed winter tick populations by killing a percentage of those ticks that dropped off their host,”” – This unproven clap-trap is repeated so often, even scientists think it’s a fact. All one must do is spend a little bit of time gleaning through the documentation that does exist and you can discover just how extremely viable the winter tick is. Once you’ve learned that, you’ll see how silly it is to make claims that a week of snow here and a bit colder there, will kill the ticks at whatever stage they are at.

“…steadily rising temperatures have caused the fall season in New England to be slightly longer, by about a week, while the winters have also been shortened. That extra week in which winter is delayed gives ticks an extended window to latch onto moose for the duration of the winter.” – Odd that I just heard this same claim being made by a Maine biologist also studying moose this winter – echo-chamber of propaganda. (Boston Globe) It would seem to make sense to the average Joe, especially a mentally deficient one who thinks Climate Change is real, that a longer, warmer Fall season would, naturally (wink-wink) increase tick production. But does it? The truth is, these guys don’t know. They are only repeating what they have been told and refusing to pay attention to information that might be contradictory to the religion of Climate Change.

In studies that exist, the number one deterrent to ticks getting onto moose in the late Summer and early Fall, is weather…specifically wind. As part of the winter tick’s life cycle, in late summer the animal begins it’s ascent of vegetation – sometimes as high as 15-20 feet. Some “believe” this action is triggered by the duration of light as it is shortening heading into Fall. If there are brisk winds during this process, it will often blow the tick off the vegetation and they must begin their ascent again. If the timing is such, and this dynamic of tick-up-vegetation and getting on a moose is a short one, the tick fails to hitch a ride on the moose or other host for the coming winter. This, of course, breaks the life cycle and those ticks die.

It happens to be coincidental, or perhaps it was God’s plan, that at the same time that the ticks are making their way up the vegetation, that moose are at their most active stage – i.e. the mating season. This event also is “believed” to be caused by the same decreasing of available light. One could conclude that a skewing of these two events, even in small quantities could upset the tick’s life cycle, but how much?

It is not incorrect to state that an extra week of plant climbing for the ticks in Fall might contribute to some increased activity, however, the extent to which that might apply would be heavily dependent upon timing of the mating season and weather conditions.

“He added that climate change has the greatest impact on insects like ticks rather than large mammals like moose….the tick infestations are driving the moose die-offs.” – We must see some scientific substantiation of such claims. To make such a claim about how Climate Change has a greater influence on ticks suggests that the tick, at all stages of its life cycle, is susceptible to weather/climate changes. I have not read any scientific evidence that would suggest anything other than that the winter ticks is an extremely viable creature that has very little in the way of negative influences due to climate and weather.

“While winter ticks may benefit from shorter winters, they are not helped by drought conditions.” – Yes, and I have read this now from several separate echo-chambers. All it takes is one news report to publish that drought conditions limit tick production and the media runs with it. Tomorrow it will be something else.

I am beginning to sound like a broken record. I have already stated that wind is the single most determining factor to tick mortality during the vegetation-climbing stage. I have also stated that the tick is extremely viable in all temperatures and climate conditions, as can be attested in the varying climate worldwide where the tick survives quite well….thank you. These same studies, which seem to be of little interest to anyone else, also suggest two things: 1. Increased humidity can slow down tick activity, and 2. Cold and damp weather during the vegetation climbing phase and moose activity phase, MIGHT also slowdown tick activity. Contrary to reports that “old fashioned winters” KILL winter ticks, it appears to me that weather might only slow down their activity at differing times. It is for this and many other reasons that I am a firm believer that the reason the winter tick is being seen as a killer of moose is because wildlife managers have caved to the whims of society and have grown far too many moose. Perhaps time will give us that answer but I have serious doubts.

I have often told the story – and heck, why not one more time – of the man who went to his neighbor and asked to borrow his ax. The neighbor said, “No! It’s Tuesday.” Perplexed the man wanted to know what Tuesday had to do with borrowing his ax. The neighbor’s reply was, “Nothing! But if I don’t want you to borrow my ax, one excuse is as good as another.”

As long as the media and science cling criminally to a false theory of Climate Change (they don’t want to loan their ax), taxpayers can expect nothing to change (one excuse is as good as another). With this in mind, all studies, like the ones now underway with moose and moose mortality, will be a waste of time and money. The real scientific method is no longer in play. Neither is honest journalism. We live in a post-normal society where the most important things in life have been cast aside and replaced with immoral, dishonest and self-serving agendas, i.e. the means justify the end.

Journalism today is to employ a keyboard and then just copy and paste what the last guy wrote. It seems that “science” has picked up the torch and is doing the same thing. This post-normal science is perpetuated by Scientism – the religious worship of fake science to prop up personal idealism.

Each time I do one of these rebuttals I say I’ll never waste my time again. Nobody cares and nobody listens. They only hear what they want to hear and this infectious disease has so deeply taken root in our society that the same approach is taken for everything that we do.

I just wonder!

 

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Vermont Moose Study: Ah, Say What?

Maybe there is still hope to save the moose. In an article found Online at The Sun, Vermont Fish and Game biologists are quoted as saying, “Winter ticks spread more rapidly when moose are overabundant,” said Cedric Alexander, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s lead moose biologist. “Although we decreased Vermont’s moose herd to reduce the impacts of moose on the landscape, it may have also contributed to the much lower rates of winter ticks on Vermont’s moose than biologists observe on moose in New Hampshire or Maine.”

However, there are a couple of thing also written in this article that makes me pause and exclaim, SAY WHAT?

For those with some knowledge know that the media, most often fed by fish and wildlife departments, lay the blame of reduced moose populations squarely on global warming, even when there is no science to support such a claim. As we have learned, global warming is a very convenient excuse for everything. And of course, we have reached a point in moose studies where scientists seem to agree that much of the loss of moose through the United States is caused by the infestation of moose ticks, or winter ticks – Dermacentor albipictus. The problem is that it appears there is no agreement as to why there appears to be a problem of too many ticks and too many moose dying from those ticks. Many simply want to lay the entire blame on some fabricated idea of a warming climate. Certainly weather, as has been shown, affects tick survival and perpetuation. Weather is NOT global warming.

Now Vermont is whistling a different tune: “Vermont has already taken steps to help reduce the issue of the winter ticks by increasing the number of licenses sold to hunt moose in recent years. This has taken the population of the species from over 5,000 in the state in the early 2000s to around 2,200 moose today. The species is healthiest at medium densities…” This is perhaps the first I’ve heard of this claimed deliberate action to reduce Vermont’s moose population.

In the “Say What?” category we read:

“As seasons in recent years have warmed up, the winter ticks have been more able to survive and reproduce in the winter.” Winter ticks don’t “reproduce” in winter.

“They don’t pose a problem to deer because deer evolved with the species present…” I don’t understand what the embolden statement means. Somebody help me! I’ve fallen and can’t get up!

SAY WHAT?

 

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Attempting to Resolve Maine’s Moose Management Dilemma With Half a Solution

Maine is working on developing big game management plans for deer, bear, moose and turkeys that will span the next 15 years. They have yet to release a “draft” management plan and so all we are able to get our hands on are bits and pieces. Please bear that in mind in considering the information to be presented in this article.

There’s one thing about drafting plans and management goals that I don’t think very many people understand – at least that is sure how it appears to me. Goals and projected achievements should be reasonable and attainable. Anything short of that, or greatly exceeding that, is dishonest, if not a complete waste of time.

From information I was reading the other day on George Smith’s latest article that contains some proposals being considered for these management plans, the first thing the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) will need to do is increase their working staff by about 400% – it may take more than that. Other than that, the proposals I am reading are mostly pie in the sky – “hope and change.” They appear much too grand. However…..

I want to take a moment and examine some of the proposals for moose management that Smith lists in his column. After listing out how the MDIFW is going to increase this perception from the public and decrease that perception from the public, while at the same time hoping planning to reduce the moose population, while at the same time make everyone feel good that the chances of hunting a moose have been cut in half in recent years, we see the following listed at the end of the long and quite ambitious proposals to manage moose:

“Develop an improved understanding of the role of winter ticks and moose density in annual adult cow and calf survival rates.

“Implement management actions to stabilize or decrease winter tick effects on moose mortality.”

Huh?

Maine and much of Northern New England are in the midst of a moose study. They are collaring moose and collecting data. It would seem the most data gets collected when a moose succumbs to winter ticks. From this proposal then, we are to assume that MDIFW is working on, or hopes to work on, or if “luck” goes their way they might be able to work on, “improved understanding” of the role winter ticks and moose density play in survival rates. And it appears this is what most of us are looking for. But is that enough? Will the ongoing study parameters give us what we really need to understand what is going on? What we read in these two proposals is typical double speak – lots of undefined gray areas. “Improved Understanding?” Maybe somebody could explain what that means. No, I’m not just being the usual pain in the ass. What does it mean? If collaring some moose shows more moose died than was first thought, is that “improved understanding?” What will that accomplish in providing any information that would assist in “implement management actions” to offset the negative effects of the winter tick?

After MDIFW figures out how to “improve” their understanding, they hope plan to come up with a management objective that will “stabilize or decrease winter tick effects on moose mortality.” One can only hope. How can they actually do that if they don’t have but half of the information needed? I believe this to be a valid and extremely important question.

I don’t know how Smith came up with the order in which he listed highlights of actions being proposed for moose management, but this idea of “improved understanding” and “actions to stabilize or decrease” winter tick effects on moose are the last two items listed. It seems to me that most of the items above in this list can be disregarded until such time as MDIFW figures out how many moose there are, and how many moose can healthily inhabit the Maine woods. Right now they don’t know and I have serious doubts they ever will. Here’s an example of what we are all subjected to on a regular basis and I’m sure that, from what I have seen, MDIFW is just as guilty as the next guy.

The Boston Globe ran a story today about how moose in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are being “devastated” by winter ticks. For those seeking some truth, it seems plausible that moose are dying because of the winter tick. We have no idea if this is a lot more than “normal” or “average” or perhaps it’s far smaller than in previous years. If you think you have a firm grip on the answer, please provide readers with all the studies and reports on how winter ticks effect moose populations. I thought so. Hopefully, the moose studies underway can answer some of the questions but it can’t answer all of them because there are no studies from the past to compare with. We might get a grip on how many moose are being killed under present conditions, or at least for the duration of the study, but what is there to compare these results with to know if the numbers are good, bad or the same? We are then left to guess…or should be, but, it will not be that way. If things go as they usually do when it comes to such studies, conclusions will be irresponsibly drawn and plastered in the “Fake News” Press about the same crap sandwich we have been fed for quite some time now. GLOBAL WARMING. It’s the convenient answer to everything.

Here’s further explanation. In reading the Boston Globe article, which is no different than any other news or magazine article, in which they must, evidently, get their news from members of the fish and game departments or those conducting the studies, anyone can easily determine that winter ticks are “devastating” moose and the reason for the ticks is caused by a warming climate.

Rinse and repeat!

Winter ticks are “devastating” moose and the reason for the tick increase is caused by a warming climate.

Rinse and repeat!

The echo chamber is in full saturation mode – probably by design and unbeknownst to those entrusted to apply the real scientific method. We live in a post-normal scientific world, ruled by Scientism, and controlled by Environmentalism. What else can be expected?

Everybody loves Bullwinkle….don’t they? Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” But nobody cares much for a blood sucking tick. Eewwww! People really wouldn’t even want to discuss winter ticks if they could see a few tens of thousands of them, on one moose, blood-engorged and clinging onto a moose, draining it of all it’s life.

So what is the emotional thing to do? That’s right. Let’s spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and study….wait for it….the moose. Not that studies and learning about moose, etc., aren’t good ideas. In this case, the whole world seems to have it well in hand that winter ticks are “devastating” moose and the cause is ticks embellished by a warming climate. How does the Boston Globe, and all other news outlets, along with countless fish and game biologists and administrators, know that “Global Warming” is the cause of an increased load of winter ticks? Answer? They don’t. But the echo chamber, the rinse and repeat, has ignorantly and irresponsibly told the world this is so. And so, it is conveniently repeated – post-normal Scientism.

If this is so, and you have a firm grasp on the concept, please provide readers with a viable list of studies done on the winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus). No, no, no! I don’t want all those items of propaganda in which one clown copy and pasted from another clown and is now presented by any entity having to deal with winter ticks on their website and printed in literature. I mean, honest to goodness, scientifically processed, winter tick studies which include, not only the life cycle but what increases and decreases a tick’s chances of finding a host of blood for the winter. Is it the timing of the onset of winter and cold? Is it weather…not climate? Is it the vegetation available in specific regions? Does wind, rain, frost, snow, etc. have anything to do with it and if so, what? What are the low and high temperatures in which ticks can and cannot survive, and what is the duration of being exposed to those temperatures that might cause death? I also want information about where these ticks are found, geographically, and how the same ticks in different global regions and climate, if there are any beside Maine, survive and their related habits and functions to reproduce and perpetuate. How do these ticks effect other animals? If all of this is being assumed, and it is, how, then, can an honest scientists draw valid conclusions about how winter ticks effect the survival of the moose?

If you want some help finding those, let me know. I have about the only 2 or 3 studies that exist. I must also say, of the studies on this winter tick that do exist, nothing in the system of study and conclusions would support the theory (Fake News) that global warming is causing an increase in tick populations. Perhaps that disappointment is the reason the tick is not looked at.

But, I know you won’t go look.

So, if we are seriously interested in the “improved understanding” of how winter ticks effect moose and moose density, which is the only way any reasonable “management actions to stabilize or decrease winter ticks” can be accomplished, we must study the tick!

But will the tick be studied? I can almost guarantee that it will not be. Why? Because of fear that a study of the tick might prove that man’s created idea of global warming has nothing to do with the ticks. Then where would the money and job security go? We all know, or should by now, that the quickest way to lose grant money for studies and research, is to find cures and solutions. God forbid that should happen.

I can already conclude that the results of the moose study will, more than likely, be that winter ticks are killing moose at a rate greater than first anticipated, that it is caused by a warming climate, that moose hunting permits will be drastically cut, or eliminated, because social demands in Maine call for over 100,000 moose for lazy-ass moose gawkers.

After all, they can’t see those nasty ticks from their climate controlled automobiles.

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