Saturday, March 9, 2013

I need just ONE worthwhile study

Ok. That subject line is a little harsh.  But I get really frustrated when I'm reading through science journals and can't find what I'm looking for because it's flooded with things that I don't care about because it's just another 'take' on an already quantified theory.  That's horrible of me, I know.  But seriously... where are the epic multi-landscape studies?  I mean... is it too much to ask for a study on how herbivory differentiates between predated ungulates of the west and non-predated ungulates of the east?

...Sorry.  Let me try that again in human.

- Is it too much to ask for a study showing how hoofed wildlife out west - used to having predators constantly looking to munch on them - differ in their eating and habitat-use patterns from ones in the east who act more like livestock now than wildlife cuz they have nothing looking to chew on their leg.  The only things they have to fear are humans and traffic... and they don't fear either of those enough to STOP and look both directions before crossing 6-lane interstates or quit hanging out in the neighbors yard during deer season.

I've said it till I'm blue in the face, but we'll never get the deer populations (much less the other issues with feral swine) in check till we get a few natural predators back on the landscape.  Less hunters.  More Deer.  More Pigs.  Easy math.  We need studies to show that predated (places where there are apex predators who make it a habit to eat deer/elk/swine) ungulates (hoofed animals) have decreased populations and cause less damage.  If there's no study's for that cuz it's expensive then get out and start knocking on doors to obtain funding.  Everyone barks that we're hoping for extensive and uniform protective laws for the big animals (namely predators who require very large amounts of space because they are at the top of the trophic level - or food chain) but yet no one is taking on the study to show why we need them uniformly placed?  Geez, I can't do everything.

I'm being a little brutal and for that I apologize... but where there's a will there's a way to fund it - so fund it and get studies we need rather than redoing or micro-analyzing old stuff!

((Just so we're clear: in no way am I slamming our TWRA state agency, by the way.  I have nothing but respect for the one(s) running that team.))

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