My Latest Musings 8 February 2014

Trophy hunting of grizzly bears in Canada results in an overkill

 

The Caribou’s struggle for survival in Northern Idaho while the deer thrives. Mankind in the middle once more

 

Bison Good, Cattle Bad? A Prairie Ecologist’s Perspective from Nature Conservancy

A fresh perspective on grazing that seems to counter many research projects. The researcher in this report sees less of a difference between bison grazing and cattle grazing. He suggests that any differences are more to do with grazing strategy rather than animal biology.

Also see more at: http://blog.nature.org/science/2014/02/03/bison-good-cattle-bad-a-prairie-ecologists-perspective/#sthash.Z31wPhm8.dpuf

Lethal methods of controlling coyotes have unintended consequences for ranchers and farmers.

There are unintended consequences that result from using lethal control measures on coyote populations. My husband and I run 300 mother cows that calve in pastures alongside coyote packs and other predators. We use only non-lethal livestock protection methods and I can’t remember the last time we lost a calf to predation.

The prophylactic killing of coyotes might make ranchers feel like they are doing something to protect their livestock, but numerous studies have proven the exact opposite to be true. Coyotes biologically respond to hunting pressures by having more pack members breed, and in turn have larger litters in which more pups survive. These packs that are fractured by hunting also leave juvenile coyotes orphaned, and thus more likely to come into conflict with pets and livestock.

Celebrating world wetlands day

Wetlands are incredibly important ecosystems. They provide vital benefits for millions of people, including food, fibre, flood protection, water purification and supply. Their importance is reflected in the designation of nearly 2,000 Wetlands of International Importance covering more than 191 million hectares.

 

Anxiety about the size of the world population has a dangerous tendency to override concern for the human beings who make up that population. The myth that saving lives leads to overpopulation is challenged by well-documented trends that suggests wealthier, healthier countries have fewer children because the odds are better that the ones they have will survive infancy. This pattern of falling death rates followed by falling birth rates applies for the vast majority of the world. Creating societies where people enjoy basic health, relative prosperity, fundamental equality, and access to contraceptives is the only way to secure a sustainable world.

Written by Melinda Gates

 

Monsanto blamed for the disappearance of monarch butterflies

Biogist Karen Oberhauser of the University of Minnesota has pinpointed the increased use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides in the United States and Canada as a culprit.

The use of Roundup has destroyed the monarch butterfly’s primary food source, a weed called milkweed that used to be commonly found across North America. As the agriculture industry boomed and farmers effectively eliminated milkweed from the land in order to maximize crop growth, there was a parallel decline in the butterfly’s population.

 

Escaped salmon can edge out their wild cousins and weaken the gene pool.

Escaped farmed salmon threaten their wild cousins because they compete for food and mates. Because farmed salmon are bigger and faster-growing, they often win out. And when farmed salmon succeed in mating with wild salmon, they are liable to produce genetically inferior offspring.

 

Nicolas Perony: Puppies! Now that I’ve got your attention, complexity theory.

Animal behavior isn’t complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals — be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats — follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new circumstances, as they arise.

 

Design For Living: The Hidden Nature Of Fractals.

 

Mankind’s obliteration of the passenger pigeon.

 

The ecology of fear: Elk responses to wolves in Yellowstone Park are not what we thought.

 

View this crowd funded think tank where there are a very well researched series of reports on climate change done by non-academics.

No funds come from grants. Only crowd funding. Center For The Study of Climate Change Conflict [  CS3C.org ]. “CS3C’s vision is climate change event and conflict reporting and resolution by developing the widest possible global involvement.  This is a forum for the smallest community to draw attention to the effects of  a changing climate on their community. The goal is to gain immediate attention to climate change threats as they develop by widening the reporting channel beyond the current government and NGO reporting base.”

My name is Bill Graham. As a Marine Biologist who has worked in the US and Mexico for 30 years, I am a student of Nature, a teacher, a researcher, and a nature photographer. Through my work, I have acquired an ever growing passion for how everything in Nature is connected. Today, I travel extensively contemplating about, writing about, and photographing Nature’s connections. I also work with conservation projects in the USA and Mexico and mentor talented youth.

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