Chronicling Sixth Great Extinction

Jan Libourel

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Just saw in the magazine of Ducks Unlimited (a fine old conservation organization I support) that the population of light-colored geese (greater and lesser snow geese, Ross' geese) has increased enormously in recent decades--to the point where they are destroying habitat, including critical habitat for ducks and also damaging agriculture. Increased bags permitted to hunters don't seem to be checking their numbers. At least they sure don't seem to be in any danger of extinction.

A few years ago a Ross' goose wintered at the lagoon by my house. It attracted a number of birders since it was south of its customary wintering grounds in the Central Valley. It was a cute little goose. It vanished after some storms in early March. I envisioned the little goose gamely making its way up to its nesting grounds north of the Arctic Circle and wished it well.
 

Jan Libourel

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An article in the L.A. Times the other day stated that in the 1960s there were about 30,000 California sea lions along the coast of our state. Today, mostly because of legal protection, their numbers have burgeoned to about a quarter-million. Again, I ask, "What Great Extinction?"

Oh my! I see I made a very similar post two years ago. My bad!
 
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Rambo

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An article in the L.A. Times the other day stated that in the 1960s there were about 30,000 California sea lions along the coast of our state. Today, mostly because of legal protection, their numbers have burgeoned to about a quarter-million. Again, I ask, "What Great Extinction?"

Oh my! I see I made a very similar post two years ago. My bad!
Those dastardly sea lions have really been on your mind
 

Jan Libourel

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Those dastardly sea lions have really been on your mind
Well, I do see them on rare occasions when I am out with my dogs. They are going to connect the lagoon near my house with an open channel instead of an underground conduit. The sea lions may come into the lagoon via the channel and turn up on my doorstep! Public opinion on sea lions varies. Some people welcome them, to others they are pests that appropriate and defile choice beaches and consume sought-after game fish and other sea life.
 

Jan Libourel

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^I seem to recall that LelandJ said only a "real idiot" would think cats were a major factor in declining bird populations. No further comment seems necessary.
 

Jan Libourel

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I just read in Living Bird, the periodical of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, about how the 30 million whitetail deer in the eastern USA are just destroying the hardwood forests. They even suggested market hunting as a means of controlling this now out-of-control population. Who would have thought 120 years ago that a conservation-oriented publication would be advocating market hunting, of all things? As I've said many times in this thread, it's not all gloom and doom.

At one time California had an abundance of mule deer, but the do-gooders made this state the mountain lion capital of the world, and their beloved lions have certainly put paid to any possible problems of deer overpopulation. I suspect our ever-burgeoning population of wild hogs may also have played a role. They like to kill and eat fawns.
 

Jan Libourel

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^The wild hogs are non-native. Some may be descended from Eurasian wild boar introduced on hunting preserves, but most are descended from escaped domestic pigs. Tough, hardy, highly intelligent and very fecund, they are overrunning much of the United States and can cause terrible environmental damage. They are very adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment except true arid deserts and high, steep mountains. In California they are now found in every county except for Imperial County, which is almost entirely desert except for some irrigated areas. I doubt whether there are any in San Francisco Country, which is pretty much limited to "The City" and its immediate environs.

In the Southwest, we also have the javelina or collared peccary. This is a true native mammal. Although many people think of them as pigs and they are pig-like in appearance, they are not too closely related to true pigs.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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^The wild hogs are non-native. Some may be descended from Eurasian wild boar introduced on hunting preserves, but most are descended from escaped domestic pigs. Tough, hardy, highly intelligent and very fecund, they are overrunning much of the United States and can cause terrible environmental damage. They are very adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment except true arid deserts and high, steep mountains. In California they are now found in every county except for Imperial County, which is almost entirely desert except for some irrigated areas. I doubt whether there are any in San Francisco Country, which is pretty much limited to "The City" and its immediate environs.

In the Southwest, we also have the javelina or collared peccary. This is a true native mammal. Although many people think of them as pigs and they are pig-like in appearance, they are not too closely related to true pigs.
Evasive species are a problem everywhere, you have the boa constrictors and several other critters in the Everglades as well. Here in the Netherlands you have the tiger mosquito which can carry dengue fever, which there are also now a couple of cases this year in the south of France.

It's a shame our current crop of Greta inspired politicians and policy makers seem to think that the best way to coexist with the natural environment is to let it rip with no intervention from humans at all. On the contrary, we need to manage the wilderness to allow it thrive.
 
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