Bison on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake (note water level of the lake). Antelope Island State Park has a large bison herd.  Copyright Ralph Maughan

Bison on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake (note water level of the lake). Antelope Island State Park has a large bison herd. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Please put your new news in the comments below. Do not post copyrighted material. Here is the link to the “old” news.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

208 Responses to Have you seen some interesting wildlife news? March 13, 2015 edition

  1. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Australia bans hunting ‘trophies’ from lions entering or leaving the country

    “It is about raising the most majestic of creatures for a singular purpose and that is to kill them, to shoot them for pleasure and for profit,” Hunt said.

    Under Australian law, the maximum penalty for wildlife trade offences is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $170,000 for individuals and up to $850,000 for corporations.

    IFAW said canned hunting had contributed to this decline through direct kills and also by skewing the genetic balance of lion populations by taking large males out of the gene pool to be shot.

    • Kathleen says:

      Compare that to the proposed African lion ESA listing in the US that continues to allow the importation of lion trophies under a permit system (and under the guise of “conservation”) while listing the animal as ‘threatened.’ And then there’s the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2015 that allows for the importation from Canada of certain (pre-ESA listing) polar bear trophies–thrown in, apparently, as a little favor to wealthy trophy hunters. Makes it pretty obvious who cares about the survival of species and who cares about pacifying and pandering to trophy hunters.

  2. skyrim says:

    Man, that’s an effective fine structure. I wonder how often the maximum has been levied.

  3. Gary Humbard says:

    Montana county commissioner propose bill for veto power regarding the transfer of Yellowstone Bison.

    A few quotes from the Senator sponsoring the bill. “You tell me one thing the federal government runs well,” “There are very few wildlife biologists I would ever have try to run my farm. I think most of them would go broke,” “I don’t dislike buffalo. I don’t like them running over my land and ruining my property,”

    Sorry if this was already posted.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Wow, that video is incredible, beautiful.

      I don’t know why the whale issue should be different from the bison issue – perhaps I feel that whales and marine life are more endangered, but then the bison are too. I guess what I’m trying to express is that everyone will be conservative and mindful about hunting the whale populations.

  4. Ed Loosli says:

    11 Grouse Biologists Question Federal Plans To Protect Bird – By Mead Gruver (Associated Press)

    “”Federal agencies have abandoned science-based conservation measures in favor of “more elastic, subjective measures” inadequate to address threats to the species, the scientists wrote Mar. 12, 2015 to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.””

  5. Louise Kane says:

    Resident MN posters care to comment?

    the hunters want more deer 225,000 to harvest but deer populations keep state from achieving forest stewardship accreditation. deer or trees. I guess if all the trees are browsed down deer are easier to hunt….jeez

    • Immer Treue says:

      There is no gd food for them up here! The only reason so many survive is implimental feeding by people, something the DNR strongly advocates against. It ain’t a game farm up here, don’t try to make it so.

      I spent the afternoon flagging white pine saplings to protect them from deer. No young hardwoods coming up as the deer mow them down! Koyaanisqatsi!

      • JB says:

        Comments like this make me want to reconsider my stance on high fence facilities. If these “hunters” want 50/km, let them “hunt” behind a fence, safely out of the way of the rest of us. If they’re not happy with the surplus nature provides, tough…

        • Nancy says:

          + 1 JB. We read all the time on TWN about how its not about shooting something but the great outdoors experience and, adding something to the freezer if fortunate enough.

          My feeling is that concept has shifted in recent years – its less and less about being outdoors anymore but the need to justify the license, equipment, the expense of the trip, etc. with little thought given to climate change and changes in prey habitat (due to development)

          Saw about 30 Pronghorn antelope over on the ranch across from me yesterday. Way too early for them to be migrating back into this valley but there’s little snow left here and, where they migrated from.

    • rork says:

      There have been many articles like that lately.
      Caricature goes: MN DNR were fools – they failed to predict future winter weather correctly, and were worried that milder winters would make too many deer rather than too few. Yeah, AGW worries I bet. What were they thinking about, the forests or not having massive winter deer kills or something? Lets make legislation about how many deer constitute a sustainable population, since defining it is so much better than trying to discover the number by science and costing it out. MN DNR are clearly incompetent so we must step in, they are much worse than deer managers in MI and WI – oh, hold it, that’s right, they didn’t predict future weather perfectly either and also have a few less deer than in our 12-deer-sightings-per-hunt fantasies. Ah, I’ve got it: All three states at the same time seems suspicious – it must be a conspiracy of bad weather prediction. That they are all right next to each other is more evidence in favor of it being some secret plot. (Yes, all satire. That MN Bowhunters guy is exactly not my type. I’ve seen him write on their webpage.)

  6. Professor Sweat says:

    This is what I like seeing my tax dollars used for:

  7. Professor Sweat says:

    Some nice pictures and commentary on struggles of a small, isolated cougar population in the Santa Monica Mountains. The parks there are nice, but the encroaching enclave of multi-million dollar Malibu mansions creep too close for comfort in some places.

  8. Louise Kane says:

    Looks like the prairie dog poisoning is ongoing
    They take the poison dump it in their homes and then cover the hole with dirt
    it takes a heartless sob to do that
    the developer could not wait a few lousy months to allow relocation?

    I once had to work at Disney studios to edit a documentary with a Disney partner. I was outside Orlando by myself for several weeks while I worked. One night I made it a game to try and find a non mall or chain restaurant. I drove for miles and hours to find a lone East Indian restaurant. I never wanted to leave someplace so badly.

    I can remember driving down south and seeing landscapes that allowed you to absorb the flavor of a place. Now instead you can drive from one city to the next and have a hard time identifying where you are. The sheer number of malls is mind blowing but the homogenization of American culture and landscapes is heartbreaking. How many Gaps, Trader Joes, Banana Republic, TGIF or Olive Garden’s are needed.

    A sad day for prairie dogs and for the citizens who are heartbroken to have to witness the cold blooded extermination of these colonies.

    • Professor Sweat says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I took a two-hour drive from Los Angeles down the 15 to the Stone brewery in Escondido a few months ago and I swear I’d passed the same town half a dozen times. It was like everything had been copied and pasted every 10-20 miles along the highway. It made me miss the cornfields and random factories the quilt the landscape back home in the Midwest.

    • Yvette says:

      I vaguely remember there were other issues with relocation like they hadn’t found a spot that was either appropriate or within the Castle Rock Guidance on Prairie Dogs. I’d have to look for the answer. Regardless, Alberta Development and the City of Castle Rock should have been more diligent in relocating the prairie dogs. I understand that cities want and need revenue. I don’t understand how easy it is for them to annihilate habitat and kill anything in the way of the bulldozer. Here is a video that was posted on facebook.

      Orlando sounds like the Dallas metroplex. Coming into the metroplex on either hwy 75 or hwy 35 they are lined on both sides with strip malls full of chain stores. When driving you can see the hoards of large rooftops of the generic McMansions. I can’t tell one house from another in these new developments. They all look pretty much the same. It is that way all the way to downtown Dallas, and it looks like a city that tore out everything pre-1965 and rebuilt. (exaggeration but I’m not far off) Nearly all the homes and buildings are new. Downtown Dallas? Boring. Nearly all the buildings are new. One town runs into another town and they all look the same with the same big-box chain stores, and of course, the ubiquitous Starbucks. Ugly. Flat. Hot. Boring. The chain restaurants seem to always have a waiting line so apparently people support it. Either that or it’s the only choices they have available.

      This is what we’ve done with development and the malls, highways and streets are always crammed full with people. I can’t figure out where all these people came from, and these are not immigrants. They are the thousands of people that seem to be able to afford to buy the ugly generic McMansions. I don’t get it. I’d rather eat bees than live in an area like that. It takes 2 hours to get out of the city.

      • Nancy says:

        “I can’t figure out where all these people came from, and these are not immigrants”

        But, I’ll bet they are ancestors of immigrants Yvette, who still hold on to the “go forth and multiply” mentality, prevalent in this country and elsewhere.

        A creative approach to over population 🙂

    • Susan Armstrong says:

      From a magnificent passage of natural history writing, the chapter “The Slit” in “The Immense Journey” by Loren Eiseley:

      “I ceased my tappings around the sand-filled sockets of the skull and wedged myself into a crevice for a smoke. As I tamped a load of tobacco into my pipe, I thought of a town across the valley that I used sometimes to visit, a town whose little inhabitants never welcomed me. No sign points to it and I rarely go there any more. Few people know about it and fewer still know that in a sense we, or rather some of the creatures to whom we are related, were driven out of it once, long ago. I used to park my car on a hill and sit silently observant, listening to the talk ringing out from neighbor to neighbor, seeing the inhabitants drowsing in their doorways, taking it all in with nostalgia –the sage smell on the wind, the sunlight without time, the village without destiny. We can look, but we can never go back. It is prairie-dog town.”

      The entire chapter can be read here.

      (The Immense Journey was published in 1957, therefore the paleontology is dated, but the evocation of the depth of time together with the timelessness of non-human life will always make me shiver)

      • Nancy says:

        “The creature had never lived to see a man, and I, what was it I was never going to see?”


  9. Louise Kane says:

    A quote from the paper
    wolves are welcome
    contrast with wolves are invasive species

    the laid back welcoming attitude could it be a reflection on the after effects of a famous national past time in the Netherlands?

  10. Louise Kane says:

    Nice commentary on the proposals to delist wolves i.e Lummis Ribble and Ryan bills

    • Professor Sweat says:

      “The historians also found records that there were once several hundred thousand wolves in the region that would become Montana. Today, only about 600 wolves manage to avoid Montana’s abundant traps and guns.”

      That’s a lot of wolves. <1 per square mile. Is that even possible?

      • Nancy says:

        “That’s a lot of wolves. <1 per square mile. Is that even possible?"

        I suppose that would depend on the size of their prey base back then Professor and, the lack of humans. Would their territories (pack range) be smaller if prey were plentiful? Between the late 1800's to early 1920, somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 thousand wolves were killed in Montana alone.

        As you can see by this timeline, the eradication of wolves began right after the first "pilgrims" landed:

      • Susan Armstrong says:

        isn’t a population of 1 wolf per 10 square miles generally thought to be the high end?

  11. Mareks Vilkins says:

    dated interview but has some personal info:

    On Wolves, Wildlife, and Weather: A Conversation with Douglas W. Smith

  12. Helen McGinnis says:

    A female gray wolf, roadkilled in February, has been confirmed in Illinois just SW of Chicago.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      It is interesting that even though, “The University of Illinois Extension said there have been 10 confirmed gray wolves found in Illinois since 2000,… the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has placed the gray wolf’s current Midwest range near the Wisconsin-Minnesota border.”

      The USFWS (Dan Ashe) is doing everything in its power not to implement the Endangered Species Act, and keep wolves from reestablishing themselves within their historic ranges.

  13. bret says:

    Sea Lions Taking Larger Numbers Of Spring Chinook (45 Percent?) From Lower Columbia River

    • Ed Loosli says:

      This “research” demonstrates how to skew research to show that sea-lions and seals are the culprits in lower salmon numbers, rather than the humans (commercial & sport fishermen) who are the real salmon killers.

      Quote: “Some of the research fish were in 2010 and 2011 fitted with acoustic tags, which emit audible “pings” that can be recorded by detectors as the fish move upstream. The results of that portion of the study are, however, being reconsidered given the perceived “dinner bell syndrome,” which assumes that the acoustic pings ultimately may have provided a cue for marine mammals that draws them to migrating salmon.
      Follow-up research showed that the acoustic tag soundings could be heard by seals as far at 900 meters, and by sea lions by as far as 350 meters. Rub said that there is a “strong possibility” that the pinnipeds could have been targeting tagged fish based on those acoustic tag sounds.” Un-quote

      • WM says:

        ++An aerial survey by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife earlier this month showed more than 6,000 harbor seals, 1,500 California sea lions and 100 Steller sea lions between the river’s mouth and Portland.++

        There probably is a rationale basis under the American Wildlife Model to thump a few sea lions. And, I know for a fact that some tribal members have done it on some WA coastal river systems.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          And at the same time, how many fisherman, commercial boats, commercial nets, tribal nets all poised to kill salmon by the hundreds of thousands??

          • Elk375 says:


            There is nothing more fun than catching a King Salmon on a fly rod. Some of my fondest memories are of Bush Alaskan fishing trips and around noon catching a Jack King or a Red and stopping on a sand bar, getting a fire started and having fresh grilled salmon.

            People eat salmon, people like salmon and like salmon.

            • Ed Loosli says:

              I am not sure what you are trying to say. Are you saying it Is because you like to eat wild salmon that you and others should be allowed to kill sea-lions and seals?? I hope not.

              • WM says:

                Well, Ed, if you extend the logic, commercial fishers catch wild/hatchery salmon to sell, Native Americans catch the salmon to sell and for subsistence, recreational fishers catch the same salmon – and everybody catches salmon to EAT. This either provides a living, food or recreational enjoyment. They don’t go to waste much (though some runs like chum are ground for fertilizer, often by tribal interests).

                Not so much for our finned and barking pinnead friends who now have human created places (dams and fish ladders) to more efficiently gather for meals, expending less energy than they would in a free flowing river to munch on everything from smelt to smolt and mature salmon and steelhead.

                Sorry, there are a lot of folks who don’t share the purity of your thoughts, as aspirational as they might be in a managed aquatic ecosystem (the Columbia and a whole lot of other rivers) now burdened with hydro-power production, water transport for commerce, flood control and recreation of various types.

                • Ed Loosli says:

                  Like Elk, I am not sure what you are getting at. Are you saying you are backing the right-wing Republicans and their industry backers in wanting to gut the Marine Mammal Protection Act?? I hope not.
                  It seems to me that the more humans have messed with and screwed up the Columbia River and environs, the less we should be harassing and killing it’s wildlife.

                • bret says:


                  The reason I posted the links is because it is a very complex issue of one protected species V. another protected species.

                  Calling it a right-wing republican issue is not correct, it seems every year there is is a bi-partisan bill to allow lethal sea lions.


      • Nancy says:

        Pings or gunshots? Mankind should start to realize, by our habits, we are conditioning other species:

        “Some believe that bears respond to the sound of gun shots in the Pavlovian sense—the “ringing the dinner bell” theory. Van Manen, though, says this is unlikely, since bears rely so heavily on their sense of smell rather than sight or hearing.

        Furthermore, not every shot results in a kill, so it would be a high risk situation with a low possibility of reward” And the bears know that?

        Kind of brings to mind dinner bells and school bells, church bells 🙂

  14. Yvette says:

    Not quite wildlife, but disturbing news of a pack of “wild dogs” (I think feral is a better word) that killed a woman on the Rosebud Reservation. We recently had a discussion on here about the feral dogs in Russia.

    It sounds way more dangerous than wolves, coyotes, cougars or bobcats.

  15. says:

    How New Jersey Governor Robbed Wildlife to Help an Oil Company

  16. timz says:

    These guys make the Idaho legislature look sane.

  17. WM says:

    For those not believing in climate change with more extremes in precipitation and temperature I offer two new data points:

    1. Boston records highest annual snowfall (year is not over yet) at 108.6 inches as of yesterday.

    2. Seattle records highest 24 hour rainfall on March 15, at 1.57 inches at 6PM yesterday (with another 6 hours to go).

    3. WA Governor Inslee announced last week 3 areas of water emergency in WA with snowpack at historic lows (Olympics – 6% of normal snow pack. This is NOT a misprint. And on the East side of the Cascades the areas of Yakima/Wenatchee (where all the soft fruit and apples come from, and Walla Walla, at roughly 45% of normal, if I recall correctly. This means serious water rationing and some agricultural ground won’t be irrigated (alfalfa and hay fields and land with junior water rights), and stream flows for fish & wildlife will be very much lower. While there may be some new snow in the high country over the last rainy two days, warm temperatures will melt it off quickly, or if seasonal warm rain follows.

    4. California and some other states are already backed to the wall with the effects of extreme weather and what it is doing to their agricultural economy and communities. The Sierras have no snow either.

    Now if I only wrote a letter to that jackass Oklahoma Senator Imhofe, to tell him of some of this, do think he would understand the implications, while tossing a snowball around on the Senate floor. To think that people like him are making decisions for the future of a nation is disheartening.

    • Yvette says:

      Inhofe will never get it, WM. I don’t know what it is with him; whether he’s truly that dense, or if it’s the public game face he wears for his oil and gas sponsors. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone is as dense that this guy.

      CC models predicted the NE would get an increase in precipitation while the West would suffer drought. I’m going from memory but I swear I heard or read that quite a few years back.

    • rork says:

      Those are anecdotes about like Imhofe’s. Those of us who think human’s have affected climate are likely to see every extreme weather event as so explained. We had near-record or record cold Feb, we had record hot March in 2012, record snow in 2013-14, I could go on. Just as I hate it when anti’s proclaim checkmate when it’s colder, let not do the same style of thing.

      • Leslie says:

        Was in the 70’s here in the Absarokas yesterday, and darn hot last night so that I left the windows open and had no fire.

      • WM says:


        My point was that climate change scientists are saying “extreme” weather events would become more prominent and more frequent. Do you disagree with this assertion THEY make? And, do you think my pointing a few very important anecotes supporting such a claim in my area (there are a lot more) like a 6 percent of normal in the Olympic snowpack discredits this assertion? In the case of the Olympics, this means thousand year old glaciers there will melt even faster and are unlikely to be replaced. Just like the polar caps and sea levels rising, maybe faster than recent predictions (the rates seem to be increased with most updated projections, it seems).

        This denial stuff is highly troubling to me. And, by the way, do you see me making strong links to the “human-caused” element? I tend to believe there are very strong links because the developing science seems to support it, but I don’t think I have said much about that important aspect in posts here.

        Do you find there is a better means of predicting change, and preparing for it, other than looking at the data, and exploring credible causation theories?

        I do know there are a bunch of folk that are just sticking around with their heads in the sand, or both thumbs up their butts.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      That’s a lot of rain and it is a record for that date March 15, but not the most ever recorded for any day in the year which occurred on 10/20/2003 with 5.02 inches.

  18. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Perked Up: African Wild Dogs

    Photographer William Burrard-Lucas captures up-close images of these social animals with his signature ‘BeetleCam’

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      my new hero / inspiration is African wild dog:

      One for All, and All for Hunt
      African Wild Dogs, True Best Friends

      “They’re on a distinct branch of the evolutionary tree, the only species in their genus,” said Scott Creel, a professor of ecology at Montana State University and a field researcher with the Zambian Carnivore Programme. “That’s one reason I feel they’re so important to conserve.”

      “The adults let the puppies feed first,” he said. “It’s very peaceful to watch.”
      For puppies too young to leave the den, or for injured pack members unable to hunt, hale-bodied adults go further, provisioning the needy by regurgitating a portion of a recent meal.

      The dogs are “true altruists,” essentially willing to shorten their lives for the sake of the hive, Dr. Creel said, adding, “They’re even further along the line of evolving into the mammalian equivalent of honeybees than we thought.”

      Wild dogs have an array of tricks and adaptations for avoiding contact with larger predators. They communicate through soft calls and birdlike twitters that are difficult for any but their large-eared pack mates to hear. They kill efficiently, often disemboweling prey while it’s still in midair; eat quickly; and, once they’ve abandoned a carcass, rarely return to it, lest a scavenging lion be up for a fight.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Curse of the Devil’s Dogs

        Traditionally viewed as dangerous pests, Africa’s wild dogs have nearly been wiped out. But thanks to new conservation efforts, the smart, sociable canines appear ready to make a comeback

        • says:

          Thank you so much for this African painted dog article – it certainly is a keeper.

          “What attracted Rasmussen to the wild dogs and kept him going through the lonely days and nights out in the bush was what he calls their “perfect social harmony.” They rarely fight among themselves, Rasmussen says, and “the pack members daily reinforce their bonding by elaborate greeting rituals, with leaps, tail wagging, squeals, twittering and face licking—when they wake up, just before they hunt and when they come back from a kill.” As Gunther says, “The wild dog is one of the most intensely social animals we know. The pack is always living, playing, walking, running, hunting and feeding together.”

  19. skyrim says:

    I’ll be movin’ my entire empire to Florida where Global Warming, Rising Sea Levels and Climate Change are not taking place, nor are they expected to do so. At least not as long as the current Governor stays in office.

  20. Yvette says:

    A good article on the extinction crisis. This one is focused on SE Asia.

    I know everyone on here has heard of the book, ‘Sixth Extinction”, but I’ll plug for a different book, “Gold Rush in the Jungle”, Dan Drollette Jr. This one pertains to the wildlife in Vietnam, and to some extent, Laos. It is a hotbed of discovery of new species, but it’s also the hotspot for poaching and illegal wildlife trade. I found it interesting how the Vietnam war actually helped prolong the existence of species.

    If we don’t manage to vastly improve the rate of extinctions, and get control of the illegal wildlife trade then I think we’re all in deep doo.

  21. says:

    “An Imperfect Safety Net for Carnivore Conservation” by Christina Eisenberg

    “Although the grizzly bear doesn’t have any awareness of the legal nuances involved in his choice, his travel route could mean the difference between life and death…Every time I see a grizzly bear I can’t help but wonder about the fate of others of his kind who routinely cross borders.”

  22. Leslie says:

    Don’t know if this was posted. YNP bison management plan open for comments.

  23. rork says:

    Very small news for moose epidemiologists – MI moose census shows a decline since 2 years ago, which is unexpected. 320 vs 450. We have only the few.
    Our moose live in Lake Superior affected land, with deep snow and cool summers, so I thought they might be more immune to some famous problems. But it’s so complicated out there. Now rise and sing our anthem:
    “Superior they say never gives up her dead, if she did it would be mighty scary.”

  24. says:

    The Quiet Plan To Transfer and Sell Off America’s National Forests by Claire Moser

    “”In a recent memo to the House Budget Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, proposed that America’s public lands be transferred to state control. He then requested $50 million of taxpayer money to be spent to enable transfers to “start immediately.” The memo states that public lands “create a burden for the surrounding states and communities,” and “the solution is to convey land without strings to state, local, and tribal governments.”
    “Whether Utah’s Rep. Bishop’s proposal makes it into the House GOP budget or not, the Congressman has made it clear that disposing of national forests and public lands will be one of his top priorities as chair.””

    • Yvette says:

      “The memo states that public lands “create a burden for the surrounding states and communities,” and “the solution is to convey land without strings to state, local, and tribal governments.”

      What? Now that made me laugh. I do not see this country conveying any federal lands to tribes. Ever. If they did do such a thing there sure wouldn’t be strings attached; they’d put that tribe in a full metal straight jacket for as long as the grass is green and the rivers flow. Plus, the states would go ballistic.

  25. says:

    Take Action: Tell USFWS Director Dan Ashe and Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the McKittrick policy and treat the killing of endangered species like the crime that it is.

    “Endangered species need to be protected from hunters who now can simply claim they did not know what they were shooting at.”

    • timz says:

      Holder ain’t interested, he can’t use this to go out and practice his race-baiting activities.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Very concerning. Are we sure ‘wildlife services’ wasn’t involved? Or a poisoning? If it is a virus or some other biological or environmental cause, this is why we cannot arrogantly think we can ‘intensively manage’ wildlife – we never know what else out there that could adversely affect them that we do not know about or have not considered (shocking, I know).

  26. Professor Sweat says:

    An interesting and amusing article about dominant male grizzly bears living in Canada’s Banff N.P.:

  27. Professor Sweat says:

    Another genius in northern Idaho trying to “save” wildlife:

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes. Something similar happened in my state – a clueless person saw a hawk trying to catch a pigeon and he tried to beat him, but luckily the police interceded, arrested him, and the hawk was stunned but recovered and flew away. He wasn’t able to be examined (the hawk). We can’t seem to accept the balance of nature.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Louise: +1
      I am not sure why the author chose to put so much emphasis on “climate change” in regards to the Earth’s human population explosion, when there are so many pressing on-the-ground environmental problems today also caused by over-population that don’t require even mentioning the words “climate change:
      *Physical destruction of natural lands and wildlife habitat for human housing, transport and food, *Deforestation, *Filling and draining of wetlands, *Pollution of our air, *Pollution of our waters, , *Unsustainable taking of surface fresh water for human use, *Unsustainable pumping of groundwater, *Direct killing of wildlife for food, fun and profit, *Etc, etc.

    • Yvette says:

      Good article, Louise. I’m undecided where I stand on the population ‘overpopulation’ issue. I’ve seen excellent points made on both sides right here on TWN. In a past post, you posed an excellent option that should be considered and it was on taxation regarding family size.

      This article de-emphasized the potential for eugenics toward people of color, but that is precisely who would be targeted. Partly, it would be because larger families are more often found in developing countries where there is a high native population of people of color, and partly, it would be because poorer people have little voice and power. I have no doubt they would be manipulated and coerced.

      I think one way to slow the number of births per family in poorer regions/countries is to empower women. This could be done first by making birth control available at no cost, and encouraging the use of birth control without force. It would then be the women that control how many children they birth. Next, would be education of girls. When girls receive education they aren’t typically satisfied with being a breeder.

      Those two simple things present huge problems in many parts of the world. Christianity given its foundation in spreading the doctrine to others would be a hurdle in the area of birth control. I love many of the altruistic things that Catholics, and some other missionaries, do in the poorest of countries, but they are a hurdle to birth control. Some of the Catholics have outright lied to African (don’t remember the country) women and told them they could contract HIV if using birth control.

      Educating girls, which in turn will build the foundation to empower women will be met with force. So many cultures, and usually because of whatever religion is predominate in the region, see women as little more than breeding machines. Finding a balance in the education of girls with various cultures will be difficult.

      Certainly, there are no easy options. I also fail to trust that the dominate Western cultures and politics would be honest and fair with poor people, people of color, and Indigenous people. There is nothing in the history of the last 500 years that would show me that any policies or politicians or religious leaders can be trusted.

      Even in America, if we look at the women that have more children we will see it is usually women of low income and lower levels of education. Are they having these children because they choose to? I think usually not. And what are we doing politically? We elect these religious men that work very hard to pass laws that make the few affordable options available for low cost birth control unavailable. Close down the women’s clinics like we’re doing right now and we will see a spike in birth rates among the poor and we will see a spike in high school dropout rates for girls. We are moving backward. Even in America. Those are the reasons I don’t think we humans will implement positive changes for the global population issue.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Yvette, agree with all you are saying and that education is key but something has to be done fast. like the idea of heavier taxes and loss of social benefits for people choosing to have more than one child. I suppose you might structure the tax burden proportionally dependent on income. I find nothing wrong with charging individuals in a society when they are taxing the system. New people, no matter how cute, tax the system and are a burden on resources. Its smart to create incentives not to procreate so readily.

  28. Louise Kane says:

    100,000 snow geese pass through the part of eastern Idaho in their migratory route where avian cholera has killed 2000 snow gees and a trumpeter swan.

  29. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Locals voice support for coyote killing competitions
    “ELKO – Local hunters, gathered in opposition to a proposed statewide ban on coyote hunting contests, described the predators as menaces to other wild animals, pets and schoolchildren.”

  30. Nancy says:

    “He was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. He lost all his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 10 years and was fined $2,100, plus restitution of $2,400”

    Hunting and trapping privileges didn’t seem to make a difference to this guy.

  31. Yvette says:

    A newly published study is out and it pertains to the numbers of whales killed during the 20th.

    Our discussion on the Makah’s potential whale hunt is in the last open thread, but I think this information adds to that discussion. The published paper can be linked via the following article.

  32. Ed Loosli says:

    Challis and Salmon BLM offices in Idaho propose to benefit livestock at the expense of greater sage grouse.

    “”Katie Fite, former biodiversity director with Western Watersheds Project and now a board member of a recently formed organization in Hailey called Wildlands Defense, went even further, contending that the proposed project would mainly benefit ranchers at the expense of both sage grouse and pygmy rabbits. “Ranchers don’t like woody vegetation—they’d rather see cow grass,” she said. “The BLM is hijacking funds that are supposed to be for sage grouse and using it for cattle forage projects.”
    Fite said the BLM proposes to treat areas where she had repeatedly complained about damage from cattle grazing. She said exclosures there show that degradation of the sagebrush ecosystem continues to be caused by livestock.
    “It’s clear that you don’t have to cut the sagebrush to improve the vegetation—you just have to get the cows off,” she said. “A lot of that country, you give it a few years rest and it will make an amazing recovery.””

  33. WM says:

    And Utah continues is “scorched earth” no wolves in UT campaign – more shadow money proposed in an appropriation with little accountability going to Don Peay and a lawyer/lobbyist to get UT shoehorned into proposed federal statutory delisting along with WY. And, if I understand the the news article correctly UT would lobby to not be required to have ANY wolves. Will the gravy train ever stop, and do they have a snowball’s chance in hell to tag along?

    • WM says:


      ++And Utah continues IT’S “scorched earth”…++

    • Immer Treue says:

      Probably spending 10x whatever actual wolf management would be, for decades, to Peay, fore what.

      Reminds me of some of the folks with whom I once worked, who would spend more energy avoiding work, than any work they actually would have been assigned.

    • Louise Kane says:

      “Wildlife conservation groups describe Utah’s effort as incredibly wasteful, and mired in “residual hatred of predators” that excludes any appreciation of the ecological benefits they provide as a keystone species.”

      That may be true incredibly wasteful but those 500K donations go a long way. Peay and his affliction with Benson and Big Game Forever are corrupt as they come but with the upcoming battle for wolves in the face of Ribble Lummis and Ryan bills, the NGOs need to look at how these groups leverage money and lobby if they want to win. The NGOs need to collaborate more. I remember just seeing a letter, perhaps on the WCCL, with 150 signatures from the livestock, big ag, and trophy hunting industries in support of the Wildlife Services and to ask Congress not to cut funding.

      • timz says:

        Reminds me of a time when Ron Gillette, here in Idaho, supposedly raised thousands for a lawsuit that never happened. That money went where?

  34. Ed Loosli says:

    Global Population Growth Threatens To Outstrip Fresh Water Supply–sector.html

    “Whether humans can adapt to declining water supplies depends on what new technologies for finding water are developed, and whether population growth levels off, the study said.”

  35. Peter Kiermeir says:

    The City Where Bear Paw Soup Is What’s for Dinner
    Tiger meat and bear paws on menu for Chinese tourists in Laos, says Report. The country’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone openly selling illegal wildlife

  36. WM says:

    One MN Senator (D) and a Representative (D) weigh in on wolf delisting in MN…and the WGL, with some by-partisan support. They want states to manage wolves and USDA to continue to give financial support – Could be this DC District Court Judge really stepped in it with her sweeping decision under the ESA (even if it was supported with sound legal reasoning). Congressional rider(s), anyone?

    • JB says:

      If by “it” you mean “politics”, then I certainly would answer your question in the affirmative. Query: Should judges avoid sound legal reasoning so as to be consistent with the desires of the majority of politicians?

      • WM says:

        Well, I do suppose there are reasons why federal trial courts and judicial appellate circuits sometimes reach different legal conclusions on mostly the same factss. Might also be true that judges from different parties or parts of the country sometimes are the reason why. And, sometimes judges reach certain well-reasoned conclusions, which result in laws being changed, as unintended consequences of sound legal reasoning come to light. There are also “activist” judges (not saying that is the case here, by the way). Maybe in the end politics is at the core of the law, or politics and law are one and the same. 😉

        • JB says:

          Well certainly reason (legal or otherwise) requires principles, and political ideologies (as nasty as they are in practice) provide principles. But I would hope that judges aspire to rule consistent with legal principles, rather than the principles packaged by parties into neat little political ideologies.

      • Louise Kane says:

        +1 JB only I would not be so quick to query that sound legal reasoning is being jettisoned for the majority of politicians but the usual suspects. Is that a majority? I don’t give them that credit.

        • JB says:

          You’re right, Louise. I used “majority” for the sake of argument–I didn’t intend to imply anything about the case being discussed.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      The states have boldly and shockingly abused the ‘right’ to manage wolves and have shown they are incapable of it. There are so few wolves left in this country it is ridiculous how much time (and money!) government wastes on this archaic issue. Again, it speaks volumes about the apathy of the public voters as much as the leaders we elect.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Idaho and Montana resorted to dishonorable and underhanded tactics to get what they want. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the right to kill wolves either.

    • Immer Treue says:

      And herein lies one of the greatest faults of wolf advocacy groups, and yes, most of whom do not live in wolf country. $$$! We have gone round and round on TWN about no consumptive users stepping up to the plate to no avail.

      For the life of me, I do not understand why Organizations such as the Internatiol Wolf Center and Howling for Wolves have not pushed hard for nonconsumptive means of support for wolf management programs.

      We have conservation license plates for a the “nice” animals, but no carnivores. How about stamps… Anything! And yes, I have approached Howling for Wolves perhaps half a dozen times on this issue.

      That sAid, Klobuchar’s quote is 50% BS!
      “Wolf management programs are critical to keeping Minnesota livestock and residents safe,”

      • Ida Lupines says:

        We want to live in wolf country, but through no fault of our own, we don’t, and can’t unless we move. The reintroduction program isn’t complete, and the federal government would like to stop it in its tracks before it is complete. I found the Maine conversation earlier interesting. What can we nonconsumptive users do.

      • timz says:

        Damn Republicans! Oops these are Democrats.

      • Louise Kane says:

        +1 Immer and as Predator Defense has pointed out in the past some NGOs bringing in millions of dollars per year, why is this issue still as treacherous as it is. With so much money being donated, we should expect better collaboration, laws and a nod to trying new marketing and strategies that produce results, like better laws.

  37. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Canada BC:
    Grizzly bill poorly thought out

    „Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver has introduced a poorly thought out private member’s bill requiring trophy hunters to pack out the “edible meat” from any grizzly bear they kill. In an interview, Weaver triumphantly claimed: “If this bill were to pass, it puts an end to [the] trophy killing of grizzly bears”

    • Professor Sweat says:

      “If this bill were to pass, it puts an end to [the] trophy killing of grizzly bears”

      Painting an apple orange and calling it an orange doesn’t make it an orange.

    • Immer Treue says:

      One of those WTF moments, where the only ones feeling a pinch may be an isolated trapper…
      No dwindling moose, wild,largely inhospitable area where one might think wolves are in that wild zone where some believe they should be, but the excuses for killing continue to cascade.

      • WM says:


        Also, will keep in mind the Bushmill’s recommendation. I am still guessing mostly the newer folks here have no concept of Koyaanisquatsi. Got some friends way back in the slick rock country of the SW right now, and in the absence of being there with them, feel compelled to pull out some Philip Glass.

  38. Ed Loosli says:

    “Conservation groups sue EPA for approving insecticide known to kill endangered species”

    These and other pro-active non-consumptive conservation groups are doing the heavy lifting — Walking the walk and not just talking the talk. Please support them, as best you can.

  39. Louise Kane says:

    This made me cry. Just so terrible.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes. At least a petition has been approved to bring the matter before a vote, and this is going to be a good read:

      Key Studies on Big Box Retail and Independent Business

      It’s an illusion to think that these things are going to improve economies to any great degree. With populations continuing to grow, there isn’t going to be enough of anything to go around.

      • skyrim says:

        “there isn’t going to be enough of anything to go around.”
        In these days of monumental excesses that is a profound statement.
        “Live simply so others can simply live”
        author unknown

        • WM says:

          Certainly the more the developed world offers solutions which improve health, sanitation and nutrition, the greater will be the net population increase in 3rd world/developing countries. Along with that comes more “consumers” with ever higher expectations. So, are these organizations, like the Gates Foundation, PATH and others like them, helping or hastening the end where there won’t be enough of anything to go around? Not a value statement of whether they should help, but illumination of a huge looming issue, since most population growth will occur in Africa and South America in the next 50 years – then what?

          • Mark L says:

            I think there’s a ‘ying’ to that ‘yang’ though: educating young women. Worldwide, the higher ratio of well-educated women in a populace, the lower the number of children. Higher educated women do comsume more resources than less-educated ones though. Are Gates, PATH, etc. kind of being our own worst enemies? Up for discussion (and I agree with your point there). I think even the pope has made the point about overpopulation being the topic frequently evaded by governments.

            • WM says:

              Education on birth control may reduce the number of pregnancies, yes. But another aspect (health/sanitation related) is the number successful pregnancies, surviving births and survival in the first years of life. Will birth control be enough to offset increase of survival of pre and post natal, and first years of life survival increases. It would be interesting to see if one offsets the other, with respect to population increase. There are doubts about that, and those statistics may be held closely. Surely they are kept, and to some degree factored into the population projections, which still are staggering, for Africa especially.

              An interesting aspect, is that we are “tampering with nature” as it applies to human mortality (education/the science of survival and longevity). Another example of living in a “managed environment.”

              So, why should we endeavor to manage humans (by messing with improving living environments/health), and not also manage natural ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them? They are inter-related, though some here would pooh pooh that idea.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                It’s all too far gone now anyway – reducing the number of pregnancies enough really isn’t possible. It’s all like a landslide – extinction, climate change, disappearing water, oceans depleted of fish and fouled by our energy needs and waste. We’ll always put our needs first, at least the majority of us, no matter where in the political spectrum people are. What a disgusting mess.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I wonder how on earth we are going to feed ourselves in years to come, with fish being depleted. How many gazillions of cattle and other livestock will have to be put through the machine in order to feed us, and you can definitely see that it isn’t sustainable. I always think of that awful video.

                  I don’t even think about it anymore, I just do what I can to live in a way where I use the least amount I can and try to think about the lives of others creatures to try to survive with us. It doesn’t make me feel good either to know what I don’t use just gets gobbled up by somebody less scrupulous or unthinking/uncaring.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  This video:


                  It’s so accurate it’s scary!

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Nothing’s going to help at this point – logically we might as well face up to it. Education or no education, people are still having children. It’s nature’s design, only we’ve also had major improvements in longevity and medical care. We control the populations of other beings on the planet, but not our own. So even if everybody only had just one or none – it’s still going to be in the several billions range, and using up more and more resources, taking them away from other animals. What is the answer, I’m afraid there isn’t one.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Think of it, so many animals are right on the verge of extinction right now, right this minute – I thank God I won’t be around to see them disappear completely for new shopping malls and meaningless trinkets.

            • JB says:

              Certainly there’s a lag between women’s rights (which leads to education and birth control) and changes in birth rates–and lets not forget that the countries we’re talking about have young populations. Of course, currently religious traditions in many of these countries are preventing women from obtaining either an education or access to birth control, which will likely add to the lag.

              I’ve wondered if the outbreaks of war in Africa and the Middle East in recent decades aren’t merely symptoms of overpopulation?

              • WM says:

                Just curious about the Middle East and its conflicts. So a martyr is promised 72 virgins in Islam Paradise (if there is indeed scripture authentication of this), what does that do for procreation there? Does that mean some males go without mates, and does it mean these blessed martyrs become like Genghis Kahn and the progenitor of many more who may have the self-sacrifice gene? Is there even sex in Paradise? Does Paradise run the risk of overpopulation by human souls (or however we are portrayed), and what about the animals that go there, as well, do they procreate and are they persecuted? So many things to ponder.

                I think outbreaks of war in the Middle East have origins in cultural differences and fighting over religious ideology (and land/resources/power)….for example the partition of India (Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims) to form Pakistan in 1947 and then the division of Pakistan by peeling off Bangladesh. This shite has been going on for centuries. Just pick continent.

                On the other hand, if you are right about population increase/density (with lesser consideration of resources ideology) begetting more war, what is to happen in Africa in the future, and why haven’t modern India and China exploded in civil unrest and war?

                • Nancy says:

                  “China easily takes first place in the Asian arms race with 2.2 million active troops versus just under 1.5 million US soldiers. India (1.3 million soldiers) and North Korea (1.1 million troops) are the third and fourth largest military powers”


                  An old tune, that seems to capture the explosive mentality of what many other countries are experiencing today:

                • JB says:

                  “Is there even sex in Paradise?”

                  One would hope so! Else those 72 virgins would be a cruel joke.

                  In all seriousness, I didn’t mean to suggest that outstripping our resources was THE cause, but rather, a cause of violence. And I can’t take credit for the observation. Diamond argued that “collapses” of societies were often precipitated by violence with one’s neighbors, and Scott Page (of the University of Michigan) observed that the violence may itself be a function of the collapse (when resources are short, violence ensues).

                  Others (the authors of ‘Why Nations Fail’) argue that social institutions are to blame (at least for the collapse of nations).

                  I tend to think culture, religion, strength of institutions, and available resources per capita all play a role (though this is hardly my area of expertise).

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                Iran’s birth control policy sent birthrate tumbling

                Since the 1980s, Iran has experienced the largest and fastest drop in fertility ever recorded — from about seven births per woman to fewer than two today.

                “It confounded all conventional wisdom that it could happen in one of the world’s few Islamic republics,” said Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, a demographer at the University of Tehran.

                It happened largely because of the Islamic government.

                Under the new decrees, contraceptives could be obtained free at government clinics, including thousands of new rural health centers. Health workers promoted contraception as a way to leave more time between births and help reduce maternal and child mortality. Couples intending to marry were required to receive counseling in family planning.

                The birthrate plunged, helping to usher in social changes, particularly in the role of women.

                With smaller families, parents could invest more in their children’s education, and the idea caught on even in rural areas.

                At the same time, educational opportunities were opening up for girls.

                As women became better educated, their influence within the family grew.

                In public universities, female students now outnumber males 65% to 35%, leading to calls in parliament for affirmative action for men.

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  “…educational opportunities were opening for Girls!”
                  Yes, a few have even been allowed to obtain Drivers licences in the meantime! That does not necessarily mean they are free to drive cars! The Shariah Police has something to say about that!

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Lost in Translation! “72 virgins await you….” this was a sloppy Translation. The original said: “a 72 year old virgin awaits you…..
                  Sorry, I couldn´t resist 🙂

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Worldwide inequality
        Worldwide inequality

        Flowing from wealth and income inequality (combining to create the powerful elite), is the inequitable use and distribution of natural resources; water and food,minerals, and we could add knowledge, information, technology and skills. The United States, for example, with a mere 5% of the world’s population, uses 30% of natural resources; the 25% of people living in developed countries use 80% of the world’s non-fuel minerals.  Many of these are found in poor developing countries, which have little or no control over their resources and on the whole benefit little from their extraction and sale. Not only do the wealthy countries usurp and waste 80% of the world’s resources, but according to a United Nations (UN) report, their “voracious consumption of resources cannot be sustained.”

        Worldwide it is estimated that the wealthiest 10% owns 85% of global household wealth. The UC Atlas of Global Inequality  states that the “three richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 47 countries with the least GDP,” and reports that “The richest 2% of the world population own more than 51% of the global assets”.

        At the other more densely populated, less perfumed end of the scale, Global Issues  report that: almost half the world’s people (over 3.5 billion) live on less than $2.50 a day; and 80% live on less than $10 a day.

        over 20% of the world’s population (that’s 1.4 billion people) live on less than $1.25 a day, 75 cents below the official World Bank poverty threshold; UNICEF states that 22,000 children (under the age of five; if it was 6, or 7, the numbers would be even higher) die every day due to poverty related issues. They “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

        Of the two billion children in the world, half are currently living their lives in extreme poverty, with limited or no access to clean water or sanitation, health care and education worth the name. The greatest concentrations of people living below the $2 a day poverty line are to be found in rural areas where three in every four are to be found. Life is little better in the cities where over half the world’s 7.2 billion population now live, one in three of whom live in a slum.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          Al-Qa’ida, the second act: Why the global ‘war on terror’ went wrong

          In 2014 al-Qa’ida-type groups are numerous and powerful… In other words, the ‘war on terror’ has demonstrably failed

          In a groundbreaking five-part series, The Independent’s award-winning foreign correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, investigates the resurgence of the terrorist organisation.

          Fivefold increase in terrorism fatalities since 9/11, says report

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            Who are Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and What did we Do to them?

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              An Iraqi Perspective: How America’s Destruction of Iraqi Society Led to Today’s Chaos


              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                Islam, the American way

                Yet the stereotype of Muslims as violent extremists lives on, says Mahmoud Abdel-Baset of the Islamic Center of Southern California, because everybody is fascinated by “the sheer outrageous nature of the things [terrorists] do. In the news, you only see the shocking things.”

                Indeed, a 2011 Pew Research Center study found that Muslims don’t differ much from the general US population. They tend to be younger, less likely to divorce, and more conservative when it comes to such things as homosexuality. But overall, Pew statistics show that the country’s estimated 2.75 million to 7 million Muslims mirror general American traits and attitudes:

                •55 percent of Muslims are married, as is 54 percent of the general US population.

                •26 percent have a college degree, as do 28 percent of their fellow Americans.

                •20 percent, like 17 percent of all Americans, are self-employed or own small businesses.

                •American Muslim predilections are about the same as the general population’s in such areas as watching TV (58 percent of Muslims versus 62 percent of the general population), following sports (48 percent versus 47 percent), and playing video games (18 percent versus 19 percent).

                •90 percent of Muslims in the US agree that women should be able to work outside the home, and 68 percent feel gender makes no difference in political leaders (versus 97 percent and 72 percent in the US generally).

                •Weekly mosque attendance (47 percent) is comparable to Christian church attendance (45 percent), and a majority of Muslims (63 percent) and Christians (64 percent) see no conflict between being devout and living in modern society.

                •35 percent of Muslims along with 30 percent of Christians believe their religion is the only true path; this is slightly higher (38 percent) among US-born Muslims but significantly lower than evangelical Christians (51 percent).

                •49 percent of Muslims identified first with their faith over nationality, as did 46 percent of Christians.

              • WM says:

                And, yet with all these positive attributes, France, for example, has a huge Muslim societal problem, with England, and some European countries not far behind. So, were these folks lured in or did they come of their own accord? France has/had a very liberal in-migration policy in favor of their past colonial possessions, or with whom they have strong ties. Do they choose to assimilate or “insist” on practicing their faith and dressing as they do in their home country? Some of this, alone, causes cultural tension. For example, if a Muslim practicing woman wants to work on a factory line with moving mechanical parts that eat things like loose garment/scarves is it discrimination if the employer says no head scarves, long sleeves or loose dresses? Is it discrimination if they cannot speak fluently and understand the language/culture of the host country?

                I should mention a good friend of mine hosts several students from Islamic countries (most are Saudi or Iranian, with a Brazilian Muslim or two, if I recall). All of these young men, who are high school thru college age are respectful, smart, clean, articulate if they have good English language skills, and for the most part, engaging. They come to the US for 6 months to a couple years for English language training. They are mostly upper middle class for their respective countries. I have not met one that fits the
                “terrorist stereotype,” whatever that is. My friend has a current student, however, who loves to speak in his native tongue on the hands free cell phone system of the car he sometimes uses – with the windows down. It is loud, and borders on annoying especially at night after about 10 PM. After being told it was considered culturally rude in the US, he learned from his instruction, and now the car windows are up, though there are reports some conversations can still be heard. 🙂

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Hope you never get those hate preachers that currently beset the mosques in Europe, especially UK and Germany. Hope you never get those radical salafistic groups that currently infiltrate those mosques. Mareks: You live in Lithuania or Latvia? That means you are far off and safe from all this! You got any significant islamic Population there?

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  Muslims = huge societal problem [in Europe]

                  not so sure,

                  “Islamophobia is racism, pure and simple”

                  Islamophobia is on the rise in Germany. That is troubling enough. But what’s even more concerning is that many of those whom I would define as Islamophobic feel very good about it. They see themselves not as racist or xenophobic, but as defenders of democracy and human rights against the adherents of a religion they believe is incompatible with both.

                  It is against this backdrop that we have to look at the weekly protests in Dresden against the “Islamisation” of Germany. Few of those attending are neo-Nazis or classic rightwing radicals. Instead, the vast majority are normal citizens. Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, there are hardly any Muslims in Dresden. Islamophobia apparently has as much to do with imagination as with reality.

                  To be sure, Islamophobia is no German speciality. In the Netherlands, for example, similar developments started years earlier. In fact, Islamophobia is on the rise across western Europe, not least in the UK.

                  And yet it is time we started to take this seriously. Those people in the streets of Dresden may be nonviolent but they have been infected with a smug contempt for a minority, and may embolden the more radical fringes of the Islamophobic spectrum.

                  Right-Wing Extremism: Germany’s New Islamophobia Boom

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  There Are More French Muslims Working for French Security Than for Al Qaeda

                  statistically, this is false: in France, there are more Muslims in the army, the police, and the gendarmes than in the Al Qaeda network, not to mention in government administration, the hospitals, law practices or the educational system.

                  Another cliché is that Muslims do not condemn terrorism. But the Internet is overflowing with condemnations and anti-terrorist fatwas

                  Muslims are criticized for being a community, but then asked to react against terrorism as a community. This is called the double bind: be what I ask you not to be

                  If, at the local level, in the neighborhoods, there are certain forms of community, such a thing does not exist at the national level. The Muslims of France have never had the desire to put in place representative institutions or even, at the very least, a Muslim lobby. There are no signs pointing toward the beginning of the establishment of a Muslim political party. The candidates of the political sphere who are of Muslim origin are spread out across the French political spectrum (and include the extreme right). There is no “Muslim vote.”

                  There is no network of denominational Muslim schools (less than 10 in France), no mobilization in the street (no demonstrations around a Muslim cause has attracted more than a few thousand people) and almost no grand mosques (which are almost always financed from outside funding). There are only a handful of small local mosques.

                  If there is an effort at community, it comes from above, from the state, not the citizens. The purported organized representation of the French Council of the Muslim Faith at the Grand Mosque of Paris is held at arm’s length by the French government and by foreign governments alike. And it has no local legitimacy. In short, the Muslim “community” suffers from a very Gallic individualism and remains recalcitrant. That is the good news.

                  Yet, both the left and the right do not cease to speak of that famous Muslim community, either to denounce its refusal to integrate, or to paint it as the victim of Islamophobia. The two opposing narratives are based on the same fantasy of an imaginary Muslim community.

                  In France, there is not a Muslim community, but a Muslim population. To admit this simple truth would already be a good antidote against the current hysteria, and the hysteria to come.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  I live in Latvia and we have ~10K Muslims (of Central Asian, Azeri etc origins). But I also happened to learn Farsi (Persian language) taught by native Iranian who spent a lot of time in UAE (United Arab Emirates) and got medical degree in LV university. Also is married with Latvian. And has few shops of carpets and tea-shop or smth like that. Speaks Latvian. I mean not a flaming radical from some movie.

                  And we have one Lebanese Arab muslim who also married Latvian and got medical degree in LV. Now he’s a member of Parliament from leading government party.

                  Yes, we do not have problems with Muslims. I’m sorry.

                • WM says:


                  Vaulting off of Peter’s comment that Germany seems to have its own nucleus of radical Muslim dissidents, the conventional knowledge base suggests, of the Latvia population, less than .01 percent are Muslim (that would apparently be a total of 300 persons). Well, looks like your country is an in-migration destination of high popularity, yes, and your knowledge is first hand?

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  This thread has grown heavily and I have troubles to find where to post a reply.
                  Mareks, just one final word. After all, this was, is, and will be a wildlife blog and I begin to miss the wildlife touch. But: There is no Islamophobia or something like that, that media are very creative to invent to detract from the real problem. And Mareks, it´s all to easy and too cheap to put those, that have deep concerns, into the right wing extremists corner. There is a very,very severe problem – in the UK, in France, in Germany, in Europe! Be happy, that you got the upper class. However, there are nowadays islamic shadow communities with people now in their second or even third generation, unwilling to intergrate, unwilling to learn the language of their host country, unwilling to participate in the society of their host country. Mareks, I note, that you are always replying with a link to a press article and it seems that you are relying heavily (sometimes maybe too heavily) on these sources. They are however, often far from reality!. Go to the Banlieus of Paris and see for yourself, go to Berlin Kreuzberg, see for yourself. Do never forget, the terrorists of Madrid, London, Paris all came from within! I am deeply concerned citizen of Europe – and I am definitely not a right wing extremist! So never, ever put me in that Corner!

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  well, LV did not have Muslim colony or shortage of labor (now) – that’s why we don’t have substantial Muslim minority.

                  I don’t know your source about 300 Muslims – I’ve seen 10K number (living in the capital Riga) and that makes 0.5% of the population. And they are from C-Asia, Azerbaijan or Russia.

                  Portugal,Iceland,Finland,Poland, Czech Republic etc. also have similar percentage (of Muslim minority). So what?

                  I had direct experience with Farsi teacher + was studying together with a guy of Uzbek origins + had some experience in Glasgow & Edinburgh. Nothing tragic happened to me.

    • JB says:

      I think the appropriate interpretation is: when big energy is threatened Congressional Republicans will use any means necessary (even the ESA) to protect them. If only they invested a tenth of their energy in protecting other species, we might get somewhere.

  40. Louise Kane says:

    Excellent condemnation of the legislators promoting bills to delist wolves.

  41. Louise Kane says:

    and another written against the bogus and short sighted efforts of legislators with proven anti wildlife/environment records

    • rork says:

      I think that far from being fragile, grey wolves have proven that they can live wherever we permit it. It’s people’s opinions that must be changed. Laws don’t do that.

      • Louise Kane says:

        well, Rork where do you start? By asking people with SSS mindsets to play nice?
        Sometimes laws do actually mandate a change in thinking or make ideas less functionally obsolete or less popular.

        Here are some examples, smoking in bars, airplanes, and public places including work offices, bullying, throwing trash out of car windows, drinking and driving, and racism. All of these activities or actions were commonplace at one time and are now treated with public scorn and infractions are punished by law.

        The carnage visited on carnivores and grey wolves is bad policy. Carnivore hunting, wild life killing contests, trapping and hounding are unpopular save for pockets of culturally resistant to change segments of the country. Isn’t there enough “science” now to underscore the value of intact ecosystems with top predators present in more than remnant populations that are constantly under fire.

        How would a relevant biologist today defend a recovery number of 150 wolves in states that contain tens of millions of acres of public lands and wilderness areas. The state managers or federal and state legislators supporting wolf recovery at levels of 10 breeding pairs disqualify themselves as credible or relevant.

        They pass the red face test as they get a go free pass under under the outdated and highly incredible recovery plan and current state anti predator policies designed for the benefit of trophy hunters and livestock industries.

        Wishing better and relevant predator policies existed won’t change anything, new laws coupled with education, time and public challenges are necessary for reform.

        • Elk375 says:

          ++How would a relevant biologist today defend a recovery number of 150 wolves in states that contain tens of millions of acres of public lands and wilderness areas.++

          Montana wolf season closed on March 15. Every wolf unit had wolves killed except area 150 and 316. Area 150 is the Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Lincoln Scapgoat Wilderness and area 316 is the Beartooth Absaroka Wilderness. Maybe wolves do not like the wilderness as much as we tend to believe.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            There might be plenty of wolves in these Wilderness areas. Perhaps the reason hunters did not kill any wolves in the two big Wilderness areas is because they are too lazy to get off their ATVs to venture into these ATV banned Wilderness areas.

            • Elk375 says:

              Ed, Wolf season starts on 9/15 and by 10/30 those wilderness areas are snowed in and most of the elk have migrated out of the wilderness to winter range. The wolves will follow the elk. Most good winter range is either state wildlife management areas or private land.

              I was in the Madison Valley yesterday and there are 5000 to 7000 elk on the valley floor. Most elk are either on private or state land as there is very little federal lands on the valley floor. From what I have been told most land owners do not want wolves on the property.

            • Logan says:


              There certainly are a lot of hunters that are too lazy to hunt the wilderness areas but there are also a lot of environmentalists that are too lazy to go there also.

              One issue that the hunter has to deal with that a backpacker or hiker does not is how to care for meat when you are so far from refrigeration. I am fully capable of hiking deep into any wilderness area, hunting and killing an elk. But to get the meat out before it spoils would be difficult to impossible without the help of pack stock. Any further than 5 miles from a road or trailhead and I don’t think I could get the meat out in time. An elk is a minimum of 4 trips with 70-90 lbs per trip. Depending on the weather, the 3 days required to complete the pack could be too long. A lot of hunters, myself included limit how far into the wilderness I can hunt because of these concerns.

              I also agree with Elk in that most of these areas become inaccesible early in the year while most wolves are killed later.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                I guess I should have said that perhaps the hunters are too lazy to not only get off their ATVs, but also are too lazy to get off their snow-mobiles and out of their pick-up trucks. Frankly, I do not feel sorry for you to have to pack out dead elk parts so far after killing it.
                I was once cross-country skiing in Targhee N.F. in Eastern Idaho when two snow-mobilers roared up – each man with two six-guns strapped to his waist. I asked them why they were in such a hurry, and they replied, “we’re running down coyotes”. I did not tell them that I was rooting for the coyotes, as they had 4 pistols between them. These guys said they chase down coyotes with their snow-mobiles, then shoot the coyotes in the head, so as not to damage the beautiful winter coyote pelts. So pathetic, but I didn’t tell them that.

                • Logan says:

                  I was simply explaining why even non-lazy hunters might limit how far into the wilderness they are willing to go, I did not ask for nor imply that your pity was wanted.

                  Could I backpack 15 miles into the wilderness and kill and elk or deer? Yes I could but due to the reasons I stated above, it would be irresponsible to do so.

          • Louise Kane says:

            what were the trapped and hunted rates last year and year before in those two areas, winter temps, prey abundance, etc. Comparing to Lolo area the wolves are dependent on elk in that area, elk numbers down from hard winters and predation, if the wilderness areas are like Lolo then maybe wolves are not as abundant and the felled animals did not recover as expected or packs dispersed. I don’t have all the info on that. I’m sure some can shed light but it does not detract from state agencies ignoring science and the wolf recovery plan as being indefensible.

  42. Mareks Vilkins says:

    ain’t this fantastic story?

    Better than real- culture of the fake

    Who needs nature when you can manufacture a superior, ersatz substitute?

    Our sense of smell is a lot easier to fool than our visual sense, and easier to manipulate. We might like to think that we could easily pick out a natural odour versus an artificial one. But … It’s hard to show a difference.’ People’s olfactory ability is set in childhood. A cross-cultural study Hirsch conducted found that people born before 1930 described a natural smell as evoking their childhood, but people born in the following 50 years were more likely to describe something artificial, like PlayDoh or jet fuel.

    It’s no wonder our physical and mental environments are in so much anguish: our psychic environments are in disarray. And the implications of our continuing to surround ourselves with the fake are severe indeed

    Part of the reason people involve themselves with environmentalism is cognitive, but the more powerful motivation is emotional attachment; one of the ways that is developed is through our senses. ‘What’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years time when the people in charge aren’t nostalgic for the environment but for artificial chemicals?’ asks Hirsch. ‘Will they be so involved in ecological actions? Cognitively they might want to, but there will be no emotional link.’

    The longer we surround ourselves in a culture of fake, the harder it will be to go back. The mind adapts, and adapts naturally towards the fake. The plasticity of the human brain is all too well-suited to our current, virtual realities.

    But when we can no longer tell what is real and what isn’t, whether our meaning is valid or not, then our mental breakdown will be complete. If we don’t know or care what’s real and what isn’t, then it won’t matter any more, and we will be living in a giant show staged for no one’s benefit, the cameras never rolling, the trees never dying, the people never really coming to life…

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Our society is comfortable with the artificial: it’s much less troublesome than the real, and a lot more obedient.

      Good post, Mareks.

  43. Ida Lupines says:

    Wildlife report: I was wondering how the deer made it through the winter as I hadn’t seen any, or any tracks until recently. I had been putting food out.

    Well, this morning I saw two beautiful, healthy looking whitetails, who then disappeared – at least they made it. Hopefully others too. A cute little troupe (4) of red squirrels has taken up residence at the birdfeeder, and all my usual birds have been showing up, plus more. The only uh-oh was that a Cooper’s hawk (he was larger than the little guy who showed up before) snagged a morning dove and disappeared.

  44. WM says:

    Not wildlife news but telling of how our current President feels about non-urban settings. It appears he does not like the Camp David Presidential retreat. On the other hand the First Lady and daughters do.

  45. Wednesday, March 18, 2015

    Chronic Wasting Disease CWD Confirmed Texas Trans Pecos March 18, 2015

  46. Nancy says:

    On the WWP link below. Some great comments below the article and Zylon’s video is hilarious 🙂

  47. Nancy says:

    Not exactly wildlife news but it is worth thinking about, for all the folks out there with butts, who care about the environment 🙂

    Wasn’t going to post this video but its related and funny as hell, and besides, its almost time for a new link to Have You Seen Some Interesting Wildlife News:

  48. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Ranchers find ways to live with wolves despite deaths of dogs, horses, cattle

  49. Ida Lupines says:

    My sister-in-law in CA wrote to us the other day and mentioned this:

    California Has About One Year of Water Left

    I was thinking that there ought to have been a Keystone-esque Pipeline to send our snow over to CA.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      And in a similar vein:

      A leading academic, Prof Robert Bea, from the engineering faculty at the University of California in Berkeley, who made a special study of the Deepwater Horizon accident, has raised new concerns that the recent slump in oil prices could compromise safety across the industry as oil producers strive to cut costs. Bea, who has worked as a consultant to BP and Shell, told the Guardian:

      “We should all be concerned about tradeoffs between production and protection … With the significant reduction in the price for oil, there are equally significant pressures to reduce costs so that acceptable profitability can be maintained.”

    • Yvette says:

      The headline about CA having one year of water left was a bit over the top according to Jay Famiglietti, Hydrologist with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was talking about the surface water supply in the reservoirs. Once that is used they’ll need to draw down the groundwater. Still, California looks to be in a scary and unprecedented situation, and given that they supply so much of our produce it puts all of us in a scary situation.

      I wish I could remember what site I heard him interviewed.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Yes, I know what he was talking about. It is splitting hairs, really. My sister-in-law has given up having a lawn. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

  50. rork says:
    “White-tailed deer fawn recruitment before and after experimental coyote removals in central Georgia” (wildlife society bulletin).
    Yet another such paper, and perhaps not the greatest. They trap coyotes for 2 years at two different 2,000 ha sites. Maybe get more deer fawns at one of the two sites, and they have ideas about why (one site had about 50 deer/sq mile, the other half that). I didn’t get a good sense of how much work the trapping was. It’s a pretty easy read except the details of the trickier estimation methods. (They talk about pairs of confidence intervals overlapping or not, which I don’t find very satisfactory – I think I see that when people want to NOT find differences. I’d usually want CI’s on the differences.) Their 95% CI’s on fawn/doe ratio were so large sometimes that it’s a miracle they can make conclusions (e.g. .7-1.4). There are no control plots. I’m sympathetic – it takes serious money to do a really good job.

  51. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

    “Something I took for granted suddenly has come alive, because I have been given its story. After reading this book, I took a magnifying glass outside and pored over tree trunks. I have seen Robin Kimmerer’s miniature landscape for myself. Yet, this is so much more than a book about mosses. This is a Native American woman speaking. This is a mother’s story. This is science revealed through the human psyche. Robin Kimmerer is a scientist who combines empiricism with all other forms of knowing. Hers is a spectacularly different view of the world, and her true voice needs to be heard.”

    -Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

    “Robin Kimmerer… has written as good a book as you will find on a natural history subject. You will want to go outside and get on your knees with a hand lens and begin to probe this Lilliputian world she describes so beautifully.”

    -Seattle Times

    “It takes a certain kind of courage and passion to write an entire book on mosses… Kimmerer admirably rises to the challenge in her first book, Gathering Moss, opening up a world of rich surprises in the process. What we learn about mosses is breathtaking.”


    • Ida Lupines says:

      Lovely. Just the look and color of it is relaxing. I love mosses.

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        Just google “moss gardening books” and you´ll se a multitude of books dealing with growing mosses and garden design with mosses and how you can encourage mosses to grow in the shade of your backyard (without using superglue of course). Quite usual in the UK, the epicentre of gardening and landscaping.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      I especially enjoyed chapter called “The Owner” – about some wealthy guy who is trying to create ‘authentic Appalachian ecosystem’ in his garden. The insanity of it all was hilarious and made my day.

      some excerpt:

      “At the center of the garden stood a sculptured rock taller than either of us and beautifully covered with mosses. Each carefully chosen clump accented the irregularities of the boulder. An eroded pocket in the rock was filled with a perfect circlet of Bryum. The artistry rivaled any piece we had seen in the gallery and yet it struck the wrong note; the collection was only an illusion of nature. Plagiothecium can’t grow in crevices like that, and Racomitrium wouldn’t share a habitat with Anomodon, despite the beauty of their colors side by side. I wondered how this beautiful but synthetic creation passed the owner’s standard of authenticity. The mosses had been reduced from living things to mere art materials, ill used. “How did you get these to grow like this?” I asked. “It’s very – unusual,” I hedged. Matt smiled like a kid who had outsmarted his teacher and answered, “Superglue.”

  52. Nancy says:

    “Publicizing the book, the senator gave a radio interview on Voice of Christian Youth America. “God is still up there,” he said. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate to me is outrageous.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Well maybe Sen. Inhofe would agree that we’re in the latter days then.

  53. WM says:

    Latest from WA state on anticipated wolf tolerance with expanding population:

    ++It remains to be seen how popular the animals will remain if they start showing up on the outskirts of western Washington communities such as Bellingham, Centralia or North Bend……A statewide survey in 2008, when the state had just one wolfpack, showed 75 percent of Washington residents supported the return of wolves, Ware said. The survey was repeated in 2014 and support had dropped to 64 percent.

    “Most of the decline was from areas that had wolves,” he said.++

    • JB says:

      That’s the typical pattern. The key to understanding it (in my opinion) is the knowledge that wolves tend to show up in the least developed areas, which are typically the communities with higher participation in hunting and livestock production. I would posit that community type matters. When wolves showed up inside Jackson Hole and were “controlled” there was outrage in the community. A largely urban population interpreted their presence in an entirely different way. We see the same trend with WT deer and even coyotes. It would be a different story were someone hurt.

  54. Ed Loosli says:

    Seattle Times: “Grizzly bears can make north cascades a piece of wild America”

  55. Ida Lupines says:

    Some news on the Castle Rock Prairie Dog Slaughter:

    “We want to be a good neighbor and this is one way of addressing a community concern,” Alberta’s statement reads.”

    Too little, too late. *eyeroll*,184094

  56. Peter Kiermeir says:

    OR-7 The Film: Just learnt that the film is now offered as a download for a reasonable fee.!watch-movie/czpx

  57. Louise Kane says:

    community works together to buy 83 acre parcel of redwoods and mixed forest, good news

    bringing to mind recent discussion the first call for donations to bring in human recreation!


March 2015


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey