Sunday, April 24, 2011

All Roads Leading Here -- Eventual Extinction

Below is an extremely important article. 
Not because is it written by an animal rights advocate, poet or romanticist.
But, on the contrary, because it is written by a hunter.
The article sheds light on drastically declining numbers of Canada geese observed in several areas over two years time and the destructive impacts of wide scale egg oiling.
It is a sad reality that the people who are most on top of actual bird numbers are those who have a vested interest in maintaining "sustainable" populations and preserving livable habitat for the animals. 
In many, if not most cases, that is hunters.
It was, after all, hunters who though being largely responsible for driving Canada geese to the brink of extinction in the last century, also worked to bring back the population.
It is a grim and sobering reality that most members of the general public wouldn't notice if all but a few of the animal species around us went extinct.
But, here is an interesting fact.
Most wild animals could live without humans: 
But, humans (especially as we live now) could not survive without animals.
It is to ALL our interests to preserve and fight for the survival of species.
As noted in this blog so many times, no species lives in and unto itself only.
When, for example we "harass" Canada geese, we not only terrorize and chase off geese, but all OTHER species of waterfowl (particularly, mallards) who rely on the wary geese for things like security and warnings of danger.
To give just one example of this, last year I wrote of two mama mallards, who each night, brought their tiny ducklings to rest within mere feet of the Canada goose family at Turtle Pond.  
But, when the Canada goose family developed their flight feathers and eventually took off from Turtle Pond, the mallard mothers no longer brought their ducklings to the familiar rock area where all the birds rested at night.   (Fortunately, by that time, most of the ducklings were more than half grown and not so vulnerable to possible predators.)
The point of this is the interrelationship among species for ultimate survival.
We cannot declare "war" on one species without adversely impacting other species who, in one way or another depend on that species of animal we are labeling a "pest" and targeting for destruction.
We can instead, set up a kind of chain reaction in destruction that could be very hard to reverse by the time we "wake up and smell the coffee" so to speak.
In addition to the very real and legitimate questions regarding the long term impacts of egg oiling of Canada geese, there is also the necessary realization of how our environment and planet is rapidly changing.
In the past week alone, there have been many dozens of violent tornados that have ranged across the country and caused billions of dollars in damage and destruction.
In New Jersey, wide spread flooding has caused irreparable damage to homes and property and literally drowned the eggs of many nesting birds, including Canada geese.
These storms and tornados occur at a sensitive time when so many thousands of birds are nesting.
How many eggs will ultimately survive?
Well, between the deliberate goose "cullings" and egg destructions perpetrated by humans and those wrought by nature itself, one might think that even the wily and adaptable Canada goose cannot ultimately survive this all out predation and assault on the species.
Never thought I would find myself in agreement with anything a hunter might say, but today marks the exception to the rule.
The prospects for possible and eventual extinction of resident Canada geese are very real and very scary.
Especially so, because most people don't even see it.  -- PCA

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