November 15, 2019

A “Naturally Occurring” Fungi To Kill Moose Ticks? What Possibly Could Go Wrong?

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Oh my! I was reading this article about how entomologists have discovered what they call a “naturally occurring fungi” that, in lab conditions, attacks and kills the dreaded winter tick, or moose tick, that is being blamed for killing moose in numbers not satisfactory to the wildlife managers…or so it keeps being repeated.

The idea, evidently, is to figure out what dosages and how to apply it to the forests so that it finds its way to the ticks/larvae in order to have any affect. We should be asking, what could possibly go wrong?

Reading the article, it is difficult to make actual sense from much of it because it is laced with repeated mythology about the winter tick – such things as how global warming contributes to the increased number of ticks on the landscape. Mixed in with the mythology, we can extract a few comments, etc. from the scientists who are working on this project – enough to at least say, what to ???????

This is the part that causes normal thinking people to scratch their heads in confusion wondering about the hypocrisy in thinking, or the lack thereof.

Yesterday I wrote a short piece about the criminal U.S. Senate, who in one breath say we are all gonna die because there are too many cars and too much carbon dioxide, which is warming the planet, and…and…and…yes, we are all gonna die if they don’t do something about taking our cars away from us so members of Congress can fly bigger, faster planes. In the next breath, the Senate unanimously approves a bill to better promote America’s Scenic Byways, to encourage more people to drive more cars, longer distances…and what the hell happened to we’re all gonna die?

When it comes to ticks, cast aside are any thoughts from the post-normal society of automatons who claim they want Mother Nature to rule everything. They believe hunting, trapping, and fishing should be stopped because of animal’s “rights” and that actions such as these are destroying game animals and in return just the thought of hunting is having negative effects on the entire ecosystem – that man should just butt out of any sort of wildlife management and let things take a “natural” course.

But then, along comes somebody with a potentially dangerous suggestion of how to kill winter ticks (a naturally occurring entity) in order that we can artificially grow more moose. Forget any notions that the real reason there are so many ticks is because there are too many moose and “Mother Nature” is doing what it does to kill off much of the moose population as a means of attempting to mitigate the tick problem, which is, must be anyway, upsetting the ecosystem. Oh, my! Are we all gonna die?

So, another question is, what is the purpose of thinking that a “naturally occurring” fungus might kill off the winter tick? Is it because this effort has monetary profit? Is it because we are all gonna die from too many ticks? Is it because some people want to have more moose to play with?

And here’s a brilliant question. If the fungi that can kill winter ticks is “naturally occurring” then why isn’t it, in the grand scheme of Natural Regulation, already mitigating the winter tick problem and any other problem that might be solved by its existence?

In the entire article I can’t find anywhere any kind of discussion of protection and growth of the moose as a food source. In a normal existence, moose as a food source would be the number one consideration of any need to protect and/or grow a crop. No more. Post normal existence is about cherry picking ideas and actions that fit the narratives of the moment – and to hell with food sources…well, until I they get hungry.

Maine had perhaps as many as 100,000 moose. Greed and selfishness cause people to begin making demands for more moose for profit. Instead of obtaining understanding of why there were so many moose on the landscape all of a sudden and that one day when that reason for a population explosion went away, something was going to have to change, the intention of the moose biologists was to figure out how to keep growing moose so that everyone had one as a pet in their back yard (not for food).

The notion here is to figure out what kind of a dosage is needed to apply to the “naturally occurring” “earth and leaves” where the “naturally occurring” winter tick lands in Spring to lay “naturally occurring” eggs that begin the cycle all over again. Might I also mention here that whether there is ice and snow or not on top of those “naturally occurring” “earth and leaves” whatever it is at that time is “naturally occurring?” How dare I!!!!!

The article presents stunning photographs of a cluster of winter tick larvae at the end of a stick of vegetation “questing” for a host. When that host (moose, elk, deer) walks by, they climb aboard. Gee! What if there just weren’t so many darn hosts?

Instead of managing moose in numbers that are healthy…(Note: It was only a short while ago that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife announced they were going to abandon wildlife counts and concentrate on causing wildlife to be healthy.) the interest seems to be in protecting and growing them in numbers to satisfy the selfish desires of a post-normal society that is obsessed with securing animals as friends and not as a food source.

With a focus on how to kill the winter ticks to protect the moose, and other ungulates (that really are not bothered so much by the ticks -moose are poor groomers) has any consideration been given to the collateral damage that might take place if and when scientists begin sprinkling a “naturally occurring” fungi in unnatural quantities?

Isn’t this entire effort really being based on the supposition that man-caused Climate Change is the culprit for everything? Combine that with misguided notions about wildlife and the purposes for its existence and, like promoting more driving while at the same time demanding people stop driving, ignorance in the causes and effects of “natural occurring” and man-caused events can potentially destroy much, if not all, of what people think they are trying to protect.

It would appear that we have continued ideas, much like our ready acceptance of a piece of paper that allows someone to “practice” medicine, so too are pieces of paper licenses for someone else to “practice” wildlife management and “practice” growing fungi. Like medicine and the demands for drugs by patients, wildlife practitioners are under pressure from a post-normal society that demands animals to play with, even at the expense of all other things…for that moment.

What can possibly go wrong?

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