Friday, June 29, 2007

buck rewild

I was reading up on the internet about rewilding and found out that there are two kinds of rewilding proposals.

the lesser of the two is to simply re-input animals and species that were native to a habitat, for instance wolves who were hutned to near extinction and now live in wildlife preserves, but not the wild.

The other kind of rewilding is more radical (hooray) and that is to put megafauna (large animals) in habitats similar to their native habitats. For instance, they want to put African elephants and lions in the great plains. Sounds good to me, mostly because i live nowhere near there!

In a related article, i read about how much bears are necessary in teh ecosystems where they live and hunt salmon. Apparently they eat about 1/10 th of the salmon they catch, and when they do eat, they only eat the most fatty portions (gotta hibernate). So what happens is that they deposit lots of nutrients from the water onto the land. Other animals such as small rats, birds and so on then eat the remains, and then you have the insects and fungi that decompose the body, all contributing to the biomass of that particular area.

Countering the pleiosteine argument is when hunters brought the red fox to the australian outback for hunting. Apparently it got loose and is mauling the 'natural' habitat of the outback. So the counter-argument says that we don't know what kind of consequences a non-native animal would have on a habitat. But that's kinda foolish, because the red fox isn't a predatory nor a large animal, and all the pleiostine advocates are talking about putting in large predatory animals . . . so there.

So in this example what you see is that large animals have dis-proportionally large affect on their environment.
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