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Re: wolves and deer: Re: E-M:/ re: hunting as a deer pop control



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Enviro-Mich message from Tim <tflynn@freeway.net>
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Jonathan,

You realize, of course, that such a argument is entirely false.   Game (prey)
populations effect predator numbers, predators effects on prey populations are
limited to selection pressure on prey's population gene pool and on the shape of
the prey's population cycle.    Wolves would tend to hold prey numbers lower, for
longer, on a down cycle and bring populations off their peak sooner.  This
delayed rebound of herbivore numbers once gave many plant species (hemlock,
canada yew, cedar and their associates), which are currently being driven from
our ecosystems, time to regenerate.  It increased the health of the land
community.

It's the health of the plant community that really drives prey numbers, predators
are at the mercy of the amount of browse, and the resulting amount of prey, not
the other way around.   The Canada lynx is the clearest example of this, lynx
numbers are dependent on Snow Shoe hare numbers, not the other way around.

Natural predation also tends of select for a healthier prey population.   Human
predation also had that effect until "trophy bucks" became the sole target of
sport hunting.   Before that, human hunters, with more primitive weapons, hunted
to survive, and therefore tended to take the easiest targets.   Wolves still hunt
this way, and because they kill what is easy to catch they tend to take the least
fit of the population.   Wolf predation will select for a healthy deer
population, off setting some of the negative population effects of trophy hunting
by sportsmen.

If predators "need" to be shot in order for prey to survive, then how did this
system work for all those millions of years before homo sapien sapien arrived on
the seen?   Also if our management of predators is "needed" then how come this
continent had more prey and predator species before the arrive of humans in the
Americas?

This is an argument reminiscent of the one foresters give when justifying cutting
a forest, "it needs to be cut" god knows what would happen if we let nature run
wild!!!?

I for one would like to see nature "running wild" in some significant portion of
Michigan.

As far a wolf "recovery" goes, what a crock.   Wolves now inhabit to about 2
percent of their former habitat in the lower 48 states, and some folks want to
define this as recovered?
And is 2 percent of their former range, enough to devastate prey populations?
Not a very credible argument.

Tim Flynn


Jonathan P Kazmierski wrote:

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from Jonathan P Kazmierski <jkazmier@umich.edu>
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>
> For those interested:
>
> There is an article on predators and their effects on game populations in
> the November issue of "Field and Stream".  The author argues that the ESA
> has achieved its goals (as far as wolf recovery) and that wolves need to
> be controlled to prevent large reductions in game populations.


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