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Entries in endangered species (12)


Which Is the Bigger Threat to the Other? Man or Sharks?


Anti-Hunting Movement Helped by Some Hunters 

Wolves are the most misunderstood and persecuted predator in human history. That's why I wrote Revenge of the Wolf: Sometimes, You Should Be Afraid of the Dark. And that's why I wrote what  follows:

A Field & Stream cover from 1955 shows an attitude that still prevails today among some "hunters" who are quick to point out that they are champions for conservation. Also notice  the title above the art: "Strafing Arctic killers." Now read the comments below, which were posted with it at Instagram, especially the last two.

fieldandstream#tbt This here, is some wild and old-school carnage. On the February 1955 cover, a pack of wolves attacks a caribou, while a hunter guns down the wolves from the bush plane (notice the orange blast from the muzzle...and red blood from the wolf at the top right).

jdnovak97This needs to be legalized in northern Wisconsin

bradklosinski If you were a rancher or a hunter in areas that have wolves you would very clearly understand the importance of harvesting and managing the population. But you have no idea about management or what it's like to have thousands and thousands of dollars taken away because of these animals. If I had it my way I'd kill everyone I see. But yuppie faggots like yourself don't let that happen because there "pretty".@aroundthebend3

anyroadhomeWow @fieldandstream deletes the posts that advocate science and conservation biology??? I had no idea that this company was operated by those that turn a blind eye towards reason and critical thinking.@aroundthebend3

Now let me ask you this: Why were those "Arctic killers" attacking that caribou? For kicks?  For a trophy head mount? No, they are carnivores and they must kill to eat, to survive.

Many human "hunters," such as Brad above, don't want to share.  They are NOT conservationists, and THEY are the ones who have no idea about management.

Wolves should not be allowed to kill livestock indiscriminately, and they should be delisted in states where their number have recovered and their populations managed with hunts. But to say that you'd "kill every one" is the height of hypocrisy for hunters who think of themselves as conservationists. And such comments and attitudes hurt the argument on behalf of hunting as a wildlife management tool among the millions and millions in this country who don't hunt but do vote and influence public policies.

That attitude nearly led to the wolf's extinction in the Lower 48, with thousands shot, poisoned, and trapped by government hunters during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Those same traps and poisons, placed throughout the western wilderness, also killed many other species, including eagles, livestock, and humans.

Now the wolves are back, as our wildlife agencies, at least, have recognized that ecological balance,  not total extermination of a species, is the best way to manage wildlife. Concurrently, we have an epic battle going on for the survival of sport fishing and hunting, as our population becomes more urbanized and less in touch with nature. Hunters and anglers--- many who truly are conservationists--- are pitted against an animal rights movement that is totally ignorant of the outdoors, yet grows stronger and more radical every day.

These people want to stop hunting and fishing. Period.  And people like Brad are among their greatest assets in convincing millions of people who don't fish and hunt to join their side.

If you'd like to learn more about this issue, as you read an action/adventure novel, featuring wolves, humor, romance, a psychotic killer, and a brawl at Bass Pro Shops, check out Revenge of the Wolf: Sometimes, You Should Be Afraid of the Dark, available as an ebook at Amazon.


New Book-- Revenge of the Wolf-- by Activist Angler

“Good morning,” the wolf said. “This is a fine, cold morning, is it not?” Its eyes seemed more green than gold in the misty light and its bushy tail, hanging loosely, reflected a relaxed attitude.

Richard cleared his throat, but no words came. He wiped his nose with his hand and squeezed his legs together.

“We looked through many windows before we finally found you,” the wolf continued. “You must have thought that we never would come.”

Richard nodded, finally regaining the gift of speech. “You’re right,” he said. “I never thought you would.

“Exactly what is it that you want anyway?”

The wolf smiled.

Excerpt from my  new book, Revenge of the Wolf: Sometimes, You Should be Afraid of the Dark, now available as an ebook at Amazon. Here's more about the book:

A child is dragged kicking and screaming into the wilderness. Livestock is brutally butchered. Pets vanish without a trace. Something is terrorizing Parkland. That “something” is a pack of wolves, residents believe. The most persecuted and misunderstood animals in history, wolves had not lived in this area of Missouri for more than a century. But just a few weeks before Christmas, they are back.

Only Richard, Bonnie, and Thomas believe the wolves are not to blame. They join forces to speak out for the animals that cannot speak for themselves and find out the truth behind the reign of terror.

 In a unique twist, wolves are the main characters in several of the chapters, as they hunt, court, explore their new surroundings, and care for one another. Ultimately, the man who champions the wolves is, in turn,  saved by the pack that adopts him as one of its own.

 This fast-paced eco-thriller is seasoned with mystery, romance, and humor, as well as a sprinkle  of Native American mysticism and the supernatural.

Robert U. Montgomery is the author of Under the Bed: Tales From an Innocent Childhood; Fish, Frogs, and Fireflies: Growing Up With Nature; Why We Fish: Reel Wisdom from Real Fishermen; Better Bass Fishing, and Heart Lights.


New Challenges Face America's Trout, Says TU

America’s native trout have declined dramatically over the last century thanks to a number of threats ranging from hatchery fish stocking to logging and mining to poorly designed roads and livestock grazing practices. Now a new suite of threats, from energy development to a changing climate, poses even greater challenges.   

According to a new Trout Unlimited report titled, “State of the Trout,” these threats are greater than ever, and they make for an uncertain future for coldwater fish if steps are not taken to protect and restore habitat, reconnect tributaries to mainstem rivers and keep native trout populations viable for the benefit of anglers and the country’s riparian ecosystems.

The report notes that, of the nation’s 28 unique species and subspecies of trout and char, three are already extinct. Of the remaining 25 species, 13 occupy less than 25 percent of their native ranges.

Trout across America are dealing with the cumulative effects of resource extraction, climate change and the introduction and persistence of non-native fish into native trout waters. But, according to the report, there is hope for trout and for those who fish for them all across the nation. The report lays out a roadmap for native trout recovery and persistence, but it will require a host of advocates playing vital protection and restoration roles for years to come.

“It’s daunting when you consider the scope of the threats facing coldwater fish in the United States,” said Chris Wood, TU’s president and CEO. “But if you step back and look at the work that TU and our partners are already doing all across the country, it’s encouraging to see progress and to know that, with help from volunteers, private industry, government agencies and elected officials, we can replicate that progress and keep trout in our waters.

“And that’s why this report isn’t just for anglers or for biologists,” Wood continued. “This is a report for all Americans, because trout require the cleanest and coldest water to survive—and we all need clean water.”

Like Wood, report author Jack Williams, TU’s senior scientist, believes all Americans have a stake in this report, and that it will require a collective effort to ensure a future for native trout in America.

“The reasons many populations of native trout are on the ropes is because of our growing human population and the increasing demand on water resources,” Williams said. “For eons, the great diversity of trout genetics and life histories coupled with their widespread distribution allowed them to thrive. The changes we’ve made to their habitat over time, just by pursuing our lifestyle, has had a huge impact on water quality, connectivity and trout habitat. We’ve also stocked non-native trout on top of native populations, to the point where even well-adapted native trout are overcome by repeated stockings.”

Williams notes that common-sense conservation measures in the years to come can help native trout recover. But, restoration needs to take place across entire watersheds and be sustained over decades.

For instance, in Maggie Creek in northwest Nevada, collaborative restoration has been underway since the late 1980s. TU’s work with ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management and mining companies have restored 2,000 acres of riparian habitat and today native Lahontan cutthroat trout have been completely restored in 23 miles of Maggie Creek and its tributaries.

In Maine, where TU and its partners helped negotiate the removal of two dams and construction of fish passage on a third, more than 1,000 miles of the Penobscot River has been reopened to Atlantic salmon, striped bass, herring and shad.

In the West, in states like Idaho and Colorado, sportsmen and women have mobilized and helped protect millions of acres of intact, functional habitat that is vital to trout and the waters in which they swim. Broad-scale restoration work on streams in the Driftless Area of the Midwest has translated into waters that once held only 200 fish per mile to holding 2,000 fish per mile.

TU’s public and private partners are key to the report’s findings. Without help from government, private entities and volunteers, trout truly do face an uncertain future.

"The health of America's trout is directly connected to the health of our nation's watersheds—watersheds that provide clean drinking water, drive economic growth and support recreational fishing opportunities for millions of people across the nation," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. "The ‘State of the Trout’ report provides a valuable overview of the health of these fisheries, helping Trout Unlimited, the Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners identify priority areas for conservation."



Less Habitat --- Not More --- Might Help Asian Carp Spread

Who would have believed that you could catch a largemouth bass, or much less a spotted bass, on a 9-inch swimbait? And how about that crazy looking Alabama rig? No way would that work.

But it’s not only in bass fishing that nature constantly reminds of how little we know.

Perhaps the coelacanth provides the best example. The primitive fish was thought to be extinct for about 65 million years when one was pulled from the depths in 1938 off the coast of South Africa. Since then, several more have been caught, including some 6,000 miles from the original location.

More recently, scientists say that they believe that a reservoir 400 miles below our feet contains enough water to fill our oceans three times. If true, this suggests that our surface water actually came from within, instead of being deposited by icy comets striking Earth billions of years ago. It also makes one wonder what the planet would look like if all that water were up here instead of down there. Those who are religious might say it would look much like it did shortly after Noah built his arc--- and they might add that explains where the water came from.

Exotic species, meanwhile, provide some of the greatest--- and costliest--- of nature’s mysteries. And, as speedier transport and improved technology facilitate their spread, they will continue to do so. That’s because the consequences of their introductions can’t truly be determined until it’s too late. Yes, we can theorize based on their size, needs, breeding habitats, etc., and the niches that they filled in their native habitats.

But as we’ve learned in recent years, zebra mussels, Asian carp, and other invaders are not subject to the same limiting factors--- predation, disease, climate, habitat--- as they were in their native ecosystems. In other words, what it was there is not what it is here.

Yes, we knew that zebra mussels would filter the water in the Great Lakes. But we had no idea that this process would contribute to a resurgence in blue-green toxic algae blooms or that the shellfish would link with another invader, the round goby, to cause fish-eating birds such as loons to die of botulism poisoning. Yes, we knew that Asian carp would compete with native species for food and habitat. But we had no idea that the silver would become a serious navigation hazard on some waters because of its leaping when frightened.

Which brings us to a recent revelation by a scientist at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Her proposal turns on its head the idea that Asian carp and other exotic species require an abundance of suitable habitat to thrive and spread. And if she’s correct, that means total lockdown of the Great Lakes from its manmade connection with the Illinois River is more important than ever.

“We recently found that only 10 Asian carp are needed to establish a population in the Great Lakes,” said Kim Cuddington, an ecology professor. “But then we asked, if there are so few individuals initially, how do they find a mate and create an ecological disaster?”

The answer is “landmarking.” And it works this way: Where is it easier for you to locate bass, in a pond with one laydown or a pond with a dozen? Yes, fishing might be better overall in the latter, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

We’re talking about a “hook up” --- forgive the pun--- in a non-angling sense. Whether a lonely male is an Asian carp or a butterfly, he instinctively knows to hightail it to the nearest preferred landmark habitat--- or "hangout"--- of his species to find a mate. This strategy allows species to reproduce even when population densities are low.

"With an endangered species, if the number of landmarked sites is increased, the individuals will have a lower chance of finding a mate," said Cuddington. "By contrast, decreasing the number of landmarked sites in an effort to keep invasive species from reproducing has the opposite effect, and ensures individuals have a near certain chance of finding a mate.”

Asian carp use river water quality and flow rate as landmarks to find mates more easily than originally thought, she explained.

"For species like Asian carp, precautionary measures have to be extraordinary to prevent establishment in the Great Lakes," said Cuddington. "When we see Asian carp use landmarking, officials need to worry."

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)