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Old 8th January 2013, 10:20 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Yeah, I know. And as someone who's hunted squirrels I find the justifications rather sad. My target ANIMAL is only a bit bigger than the target area on a deer--if you can't hit the dear in the brain, you probably don't need to be carrying a gun.
I respectfully disagree. You can hunt squirrels with a .22 LR zeroed at 50 yards and plink a bunch of them. I hunt deer with a .270 Win that shoots 2 inches high at 100 yards. I could hit a squirrel with it but there would be nothing left.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
And I've talked to deer hunters about the distance thing. For the average hunter I talked to, it's really not that much more than for squirrel hunters. In the interest of full disclosure, the hunters I know hunt in wooded areas, so you can't get too far away no matter what you want to shoot--get to a certain point and there are so many trees and so much brush in the way that the bullet will never reach it anyway.
I have shot whitetails at 30 yards and at 150 yards. I have put the scope on a deer and seen nothing but fur. I missed a 250 yard shot this year which is one reason I am looking at a .300 Win Mag. I definitely would not try a head shot at a deer 100 yards away and if you have a broadside shot at 50 yards why not go for the high percentage target? I too have hunted the thick stuff but I also hunt some clear cuts where I could see 500 yards or more. We are talking about two different tools for two different kinds of hunting.

Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
There's always risk that you're going to miss. Sucks, but that's life--no one ever said nature was kind. And still, we're talking a death that's quicker for the animal than rotting from the inside out from disease, and it's a WHOLE lot better for the herd. I believe that we need to be predators, and I can tell you with absolute confidence that predators have been injuring animals for the past few hundred million years (while I haven't seen basal Archaeosaur predation wounds I've seen herbivorous dinosaurs with some extremely nasty ones all the way back to the Triassic). The fact that we're not the first predators in history to only kill or completely miss prey doesn't bother me too much. I mean, I'm not advocating torturing animals, and I definitely believe that you should do everything you can to minimize suffering--it's just that I acknowledge that a certain percentages of misses are going to happen, and a certain percentage of prey is going to be injured rather than killed, no matter what we do.
Yeah, but it is sad when you see it. Two years ago I had a hunter tell me he missed a doe that evening. The next day another hunter told me he found a doe in a clear cut a mile and a half away that was just laying in the open looking at him as he walked by. She had been shot though the back leg and spent a painful night there after walking as far as she could. He put her down. It would have been worse for her if the coyotes had found her.
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:34 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Black leopards.
Ah, the melanistic form of leopard. Virtually unknown in the wild, but bred especially for zoos etc.

Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
.... the rangers in Ol Pejeta's Sweetwaters don't have a copy. ........
Between the Aberdares and Mt Kenya, isn't it? I've been to the area, but not to Sweetwaters itself.....way back when (1994).

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Old 8th January 2013, 10:38 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Ah, the melanistic form of leopard. Virtually unknown in the wild, but bred especially for zoos etc.
It's still a leopard, just like a white tiger is still a tiger.
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:42 AM   #164
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Of course, but it isn't one you'll generally see in the wild. I've heard it said that there has never been a black leopard confirmed in Africa in the wild. I don't know the truth of that.
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:59 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Of course, but it isn't one you'll generally see in the wild. I've heard it said that there has never been a black leopard confirmed in Africa in the wild. I don't know the truth of that.
It's apparently possible in the wild, both in Africa and more so in southeast Asia.

Quote:
Leopards are generally buff/tawny with inky black spots arranged in rosettes. Melanistic leopards are relatively common and are bred in zoos and as exotic pets (black panthers). Black leopards are reported from moist densely-forested areas in south-western China, Burma, Assam and Nepal; from Travancore and other parts of southern India and are said to be common in Java and the southern part of the Malay peninsula where they may be more numerous than spotted leopards. They are less common in tropical Africa, but have been reported from Ethiopia (formerly Abyssinia), the forests of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. One was recorded by Peter Turnbull-Kemp in the equatorial forest of Cameroon.
Source: http://www.messybeast.com/genetics/mutant-leopards.html

My original point though was that of the two leopards we have, it's the spotted one that will be the most likely to purr - if leopards can purr. All but one of our animals are captive-bred.
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Old 8th January 2013, 11:06 AM   #166
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Well, RenaissanceBiker, from what you've said it sounds like you're hunting under different conditions than those of the hunters where I grew up. Obviously that will play a huge factor in how you shoot. If you're shooting at 250 yards, yeah, you're probably not going to hit a deer in the head--but then again, you're also not in a wooded area like the hunters I knew.

Originally Posted by RenaissanceBiker
and if you have a broadside shot at 50 yards why not go for the high percentage target?
Arrogance. I like to know that I can put the bullet precisely where I want to, and to me going for anything but the brain is a confession that I can't do it--ie, a confession that I'm a poor marksman. I want to emphasize that that's me; I don't expect anyone else to hold to that standard, nor do I fault others for their choices (I'm not a fan of anything that's not an instant kill, but again, that's me, not them, and I know arguments can be made ither way).

Part of it was my upbringing. Being able to hit a bird's wing while it was in flight was considered a normal skill for my family, and shooting a leaf off a tree without damaging the leaf was considered an easy shot. Those were the men--the women are far superior shots. As in, I don't think anyone in my generation has ever seen a woman miss. I just don't want to tell those people I didn't think I could hit something the size of a baseball!

Quote:
Yeah, but it is sad when you see it.
Agreed. I hate to see it, and avoid it if I can. That said, I'm not going to waste too much time thinking about it. Most animals that have ever lived died via predation. It's a simple fact of nature. Okay, it's not nice, and if I can I try to do far better (one reason I go for headshots). But it's going to be horrifying for the deer if coyotes attack her no matter what injured her. It's the way Nature works.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:00 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
Well, RenaissanceBiker, from what you've said it sounds like you're hunting under different conditions than those of the hunters where I grew up. Obviously that will play a huge factor in how you shoot. If you're shooting at 250 yards, yeah, you're probably not going to hit a deer in the head--but then again, you're also not in a wooded area like the hunters I knew.

Arrogance. I like to know that I can put the bullet precisely where I want to, and to me going for anything but the brain is a confession that I can't do it--ie, a confession that I'm a poor marksman. I want to emphasize that that's me; I don't expect anyone else to hold to that standard, nor do I fault others for their choices (I'm not a fan of anything that's not an instant kill, but again, that's me, not them, and I know arguments can be made ither way).

Part of it was my upbringing. Being able to hit a bird's wing while it was in flight was considered a normal skill for my family, and shooting a leaf off a tree without damaging the leaf was considered an easy shot. Those were the men--the women are far superior shots. As in, I don't think anyone in my generation has ever seen a woman miss. I just don't want to tell those people I didn't think I could hit something the size of a baseball!

Agreed. I hate to see it, and avoid it if I can. That said, I'm not going to waste too much time thinking about it. Most animals that have ever lived died via predation. It's a simple fact of nature. Okay, it's not nice, and if I can I try to do far better (one reason I go for headshots). But it's going to be horrifying for the deer if coyotes attack her no matter what injured her. It's the way Nature works.
Dinwar, do you also do head shots only when squirrel hunting?

I don't like head shots for deer because their heads are very mobile, compared with their chest. It's much more likely that the head will move during that critical instant.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:09 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by Old man
Dinwar, do you also do head shots only when squirrel hunting?
Yup. There are a number of reasons for it. First and foremonst, it kills the critters instantly. Second, again, there's the pride thing. Third, a gut shot or chest shot won't always kill the squirrel (ever try to shoot a wounded squirrel that wakes up as you pick it up?). [ETA: I once saw Dad shoot a squirrel in the chest. Four hours later he shot at a squirrel again, hit it in the chest. We found both bullets in the squirrel. It was still alive and fighting for four hours, with a bullet in its lung.] Fourth, skinning a squirrel that's shot in the chest is a royal pain. It always messes up the shoulder joint, which in turn makes it extremely difficult to grip when you take the skin off. That could just be the squirrels where I grew up, though--some folks down South told me that their squirrels were easy to skin, so maybe that's not a consideration down there.

I should mention that I hunted with a .22 carbine. My grandfather hunted with a 20 gauge shotgun and a .22 revolver (see parenthetical statement above for an explanation!). For his shotgun, it didn't matter where he hit it.

The pride thing cannot be overstated, though. I remember once my dad and uncle were picking on me, because I killed a small squirrel (I don't go for young ones; it was just a runt). They joked that I shot a rat. I laughed with them, then pointed out that neither of them got theirs in the head. "Not many people can shoot a rat in the eye when it's up a tree." Dad and my uncle had to agree with that.
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Last edited by Dinwar; 8th January 2013 at 02:12 PM. Reason: To add a story.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:15 PM   #169
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Forgive me if this is off-topic, but....


Here kitty kitty!


They believe this one was rabies. Dude got it good.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:28 PM   #170
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Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
Forgive me if this is off-topic, but....


Here kitty kitty!


They believe this one was rabies. Dude got it good.
I'd bet a digit that was a rabid animal. Bobcats don't generally attach themselves to people's heads. There have been issues with them showing up around suburbs with sprawl being what it is (made the local news in Arlington, TX a short while before they broke ground on Cowboys Stadium).
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:32 PM   #171
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As a matter of interest, why do people hunt squirrels? Are they good eating?
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:33 PM   #172
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Some animal attack movies that are based on real stories:

Grizzly Man
The Ghost and the Darkness
Manhunters

There are also various documentaries on the subject.
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:42 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
As a matter of interest, why do people hunt squirrels? Are they good eating?
My brother says they are. He shot one in my dad's backyard with a .20 gauge and beer battered it. Did I mention my family is from WV?
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Old 8th January 2013, 02:57 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
As a matter of interest, why do people hunt squirrels? Are they good eating?
They're pretty good. Down here they're cooked a lot like chicken: either battered and fried, or done "country style" with gravy.
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Old 8th January 2013, 03:03 PM   #175
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
As a matter of interest, why do people hunt squirrels? Are they good eating?
Yup. They are delicious. Skin 'em, butcher 'em (legs, chest, maybe the lower back), throw 'em on the grill. Sprinkle with Lowery's and spritz with vinegar and water to keep 'em moist. Best meat you'll ever have.

Or boil 'em up in a gumbo. Had that down South one day. I prefer grilled, but it wasn't bad that way. With the grilled method, the vinegar takes out the greasyness of the meat (remember, we're talking animals that store food for the winter, and hunting season is also known roughly as "autum"). In the gumbo, that was accomplished via some spices.

That's why I dislike hunting with shotguns--the pellets get in the meat. It's like eating watermellon: you have to spit the buckshot out as you chew. And may the gods have mercy on you if Mom finds any on her floors......

The other reason to hunt them is the same as deer: they're wildly overpopulated, and causing a fair amount of ecological and economic damage. Squirrels, contrary to popular opinion, are not exactly nice animals. They're rodents, and can be quite vicious (and no, not just when they've been shot). They get into corn cribs and grain silos and all sorts of places you really don't want them, and they carry things like fleas and other pests that carry disease (or can simply be rabid themselves). Hunting isn't perfect, but it's far superior to the alternatives, which include poisoning, attacking their food supply, and releasing predators (which always works poorly, particularly since anything that will eat a squirrel will almost always also eat a chicken, piglet, cat, or small dog).

When you remove predators you get an over-abundance of prey. It's basic biology. Until, that is, you run into a limiting factor--disease, starvation, inbreeding, whatever. All of those cause unimaginable suffering in the members of that population, and it is directly the fault of humans. So it's our fault--there's no getting around it, and no legitimate alternative explanation. Humans cause this suffering. Some humans want to hunt, which means they want to take the place of those predators we displaced. Since that's what we need anyway, it's a perfect solution to the problem. Provided, of course, the hunters aren't morons (no one in my family has any respect for anyone who hunts deer for trophies--take a trophy if you want, that's not a problem, but take the meat as well).
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Old 8th January 2013, 03:17 PM   #176
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Hey, from animals supposedly attacking humans, to humans eating squirrels, in 5 easy pages.....
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Old 8th January 2013, 04:38 PM   #177
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Why they are called threads....weave here and there....besides squirrels are vicious little tree rats.....
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Old 8th January 2013, 06:01 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
...When a game warden prefers tangling with a 1 ton salty to a cassowary - maybe take him and the bird seriously. It's got a reputation for a reason.
Yes, I've met a number of guides and wardens that exaggerate the danger of an animal either to big note themselves or to give the punter the impression that they're doing something edgy. Steve Irwin never over egged a situation, for instance.

So.
Crocodile attacks treated at Darwin Hospital 1981 - 1991 - 16 attacks, 4 of them fatal.

Recorded attacks 1971 - 2004 - 62 unprovoked attacks, 17 of which were fatal.

17 deaths in 33 years attributed to uprovoked crocodile attacks up to 2004 alone
vs
1 death in 73 years attributed to a cassowary (that was being attacked with clubs).

This game warden is either a pussy or, as per my initial gripe, is exaggerating the danger and/or merely passing on campfire stories that have no real basis in the reality of the matter.

Either way - you have yet to produce evidence for 100s of attacks by cassowary each year.
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Old 9th January 2013, 07:02 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
When a game warden prefers tangling with a 1 ton salty to a cassowary - maybe take him and the bird seriously. It's got a reputation for a reason.
Fify -
"When a game warden (says, for some reality film about 'dangerous' animals, he) prefers tangling with a 1 ton salty to a cassowary (and then immediately enters the cassowary enclosure, armed only with a little stick) - maybe (I won't) take him and the bird seriously."

Yeah, it does have a reputation for a reason.
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Old 9th January 2013, 09:39 AM   #180
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Of COURSE you know better than he does..
Easy, just stay out their territory and you will be completely satisfied they are not in the least dangerous.
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Old 9th January 2013, 11:53 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Why they are called threads....weave here and there....besides squirrels are vicious little tree rats.....
Indeed they are. Squirrels are ********. There's one at the sanctuary that loves to hang out just beyond reach and taunt the bobcats through the chain link.

Sometimes some less-intellectually-gifted squirrels make the mistake of trying their luck with the leopards.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:03 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Indeed they are. Squirrels are ********. There's one at the sanctuary that loves to hang out just beyond reach and taunt the bobcats through the chain link.

Sometimes some less-intellectually-gifted squirrels make the mistake of trying their luck with the leopards.
There's a name for that.

Dietary Supplementation

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Old 9th January 2013, 12:06 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
There's a name for that.

Dietary Supplementation

I like to think of them as Happy Meals.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:09 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
.....Easy, just stay out their territory and you will be completely satisfied they are not in the least dangerous.
Nobody, of course, said that. They just aren't as dangerous as the claims made on their behalf.

Mike
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:24 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
I like to think of them as Happy Meals.
Maybe "Happy-for-a-very-short-time" Meals?

I don't imagine they're happy for very long...
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:26 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Nobody, of course, said that. They just aren't as dangerous as the claims made on their behalf.

Mike
This is true of most dangerous animals.

Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
Maybe "Happy-for-a-very-short-time" Meals?

I don't imagine they're happy for very long...
It's the leopards that are made happy.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:37 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
I'd bet a digit that was a rabid animal. Bobcats don't generally attach themselves to people's heads. There have been issues with them showing up around suburbs with sprawl being what it is (made the local news in Arlington, TX a short while before they broke ground on Cowboys Stadium).
The big cats straying into surburbs is pretty common in a lot of the American West. Happens about once or twice a year here in Sacramento.
And recently a coyote caused a fuss when he strayed into a street in San Francisco. It appears there are a few in the heavily wooded seacoast areas between GOlden Gat Park and The Golden Gate Bridge.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:40 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The big cats straying into surburbs is pretty common in a lot of the American West. Happens about once or twice a year here in Sacramento.
And recently a coyote caused a fuss when he strayed into a street in San Francisco. It appears there are a few in the heavily wooded seacoast areas between GOlden Gat Park and The Golden Gate Bridge.
Ditto the coyote that walked into a Chicago cafe and lay down in the drinks cooler, or the one that was in Central Park for a short stay.

I'm actually writing a novel about a cougar in a suburb (volunteering at the center was partially for free research on behavior).

It's unfortunate that a lot of these animals are euthanized, but looking at the alternatives I don't see any better ideas.
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Old 9th January 2013, 01:50 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Of COURSE you know better than he does..
Easy, just stay out their territory and you will be completely satisfied they are not in the least dangerous.
You're right, of course, and I'll certainly follow their advice. If I ever happen to encounter one in the wild, I'll seek refuge in the river.
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Old 9th January 2013, 06:41 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Of COURSE you know better than he does..
Easy, just stay out their territory and you will be completely satisfied they are not in the least dangerous.
I suppose I really should thank you for providing examples the support my original gripe here.
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
...- I believe that the cassowary is being seriously maligned by unchecked rumour and campfire stories.
So far you've asserted that there are 100s of attacks by Cassowaries every year.

Unchecked rumour
Repeated as scientific fact, no less.

Then we had the hyperbole from the Steve Irwin wannabe who declares that he'd rather wrassle a 1 ton crocodile than get near a Cassowary.

Campfire story
Complete with appeal to authority - classic stuff.

Thanks for providing excellent examples of how this bird's reputation is exaggerated out of all proportion to reality - just as I complained about in post #111.
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Old 9th January 2013, 07:08 PM   #191
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There are rattlesnakes in my hollow.
Their danger is exaggerated beyond belief.

People around here kill snakes at every opportunity.
The result has been a huge increase in meadow voles...the main vector of tick-borne diseases.
These actually do kill people. Some irony, eh?
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Old 10th January 2013, 01:55 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by quarky View Post
There are rattlesnakes in my hollow.
Their danger is exaggerated beyond belief.

People around here kill snakes at every opportunity.
The result has been a huge increase in meadow voles...the main vector of tick-borne diseases.
These actually do kill people. Some irony, eh?
I think people can get away with killing wildlife, at least down to the insect level. True, many disasters have happened because people interfered with animals in ways they didn't fully comprehend. But in the end I guess the whole world could become something like Europe where we have all but eradicated most terrestrial life forms big enough to catch our eye. Ok, rats and cockroaches may still be flourishing in most big cities but I have no doubt we can manage to eradicate them as well in the long run. In the end most of the world could be covered with concrete if that's what people want.
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Old 10th January 2013, 02:03 AM   #193
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There is some re-wilding going on in Europe ( the Iron Curtain Wall has been a corridor ) and some species are getting along with humans only too well.
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Old 10th January 2013, 02:13 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
There is some re-wilding going on in Europe ( the Iron Curtain Wall has been a corridor ) and some species are getting along with humans only too well.
Yes, but my point is that people can manage to make a lot of wildlife extinct without "nature taking its revenge". Re-introduction of most wild species is happening because people are sorry to see some animals go, not because we are worried about the human well-being. Personally I would prefer it if nature would take its revenge, but it looks like we have reached (or are quickly reaching) a point where we can get away with it.
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Old 10th January 2013, 02:23 AM   #195
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Leave it to the microbes C Difficile has upped the body count
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:13 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
There is some re-wilding going on in Europe ( the Iron Curtain Wall has been a corridor ) and some species are getting along with humans only too well.
I was surprised to hear that there are wolves, lynxes and bears along the hiking trails in northern Italy when I was there in 2010. Not unpleasantly surprised, either.

In Pakistan, the snow leopards have gotten so used to goats that they've made them a large part of their diet. A cat takes a goat, the goatherd is compensated by Islamabad, and everybody's happy. There is a crazy idea to think of them as de facto domesticated animals, since they've adapted to be reliant on human activity.

Of course, this raises the conundrum of how a domesticated animal can still be considered legally endangered.
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:24 AM   #197
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Sorry Polaris, I'm not quite following. You aren't saying Pakistan is part of Europe, are you?
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:29 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
Yes, but my point is that people can manage to make a lot of wildlife extinct without "nature taking its revenge". Re-introduction of most wild species is happening because people are sorry to see some animals go, not because we are worried about the human well-being. Personally I would prefer it if nature would take its revenge, but it looks like we have reached (or are quickly reaching) a point where we can get away with it.
I think you're partially correct. The average person who supports rewilding may very well be doing it out of guilt. However, the people in charge of the programs do know a thing or two about ecosystems and how they affect humanity. There is sound science behind these programs, and for good reason.

http://www.pbs.org/strangedays/episo.../lakeguri.html

The Lago Guri case is a microcosm of what happens when de-wilding takes place. We're seeing it in the US with the explosion of the deer population and the resulting dying of forests. They also eat the support system for pollenators*. Bees are in trouble, and they are responsible for a lot more of our food supply than just honey. That definitely affects humanity. So does the strip mining of the seas.






*Come on JREF spell check, you don't know "pollenators"?
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:30 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Sorry Polaris, I'm not quite following. You aren't saying Pakistan is part of Europe, are you?
No, I forgot the segue. I was just pointing out another program in central Asia.
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:46 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
*Come on JREF spell check, you don't know "pollenators"?
It seems to understand "pollinators" though
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