Category: INVASION BIOLOGY

Petition Targets ‘Rogue’ Killings by Wildlife Services

NOTE: Article initially appeared in the Washington Post on December 15th, 2013. Darryl Fears They say U.S. critter assassins work in secret, quietly laying traps, lacing food with poison, sniping at targets from helicopters. Few people know exactly how the hits go down; the methods are largely hidden. What’s certain is that the U.S. Department

Aoudad, The Bogus Boogeyman

  Eradication Science or Eradication Snake Oil?   This piece asks common sense questions about the increasing use of wild animal eradication as a primary conservation tool, and about the foundations on which these practices rest: Why have eradications become so prevalent? Do eradications advance conservation? Are eradications based on science or snake oil packaged as

New Bison War: Should Buffalo Be Reintroduced to the West?

Our neighbor Dr. Jimmy Labaume passed along this piece on bison.  Circle had a great little herd which escaped, got involved in a wreck, and got shot up!  It all wound up in a lawsuit.  Bison are cool but uncontrollable!  Laura says “No more buffalo!”   “This is a bit long but very informative. Bison are

We and the Burro

About a year and a half ago I was contacted by Marjorie Farabee, President of the Burro Protection League.  Marjorie hesitantly asked me if I was aware that wild burros were being eradicated down at the Big Bend Ranch State Park: She thought I must support this, like most bighorn advocates.

Circle Ranch - Cows and Pronghorn

Using Cows to Improve Wildlife Habitat and Increase Pronghorn

This is the second in a series about how domestic animals like cattle can help wildlife and habitat in desert grasslands.  Our first introduced Cows and Quail, Albuquerque-based Holistic Management International’s new range and wildlife program which focused on quail. Our topic in this article is the most characteristic large mammal of far-West Texas and

Circle Ranch - Pronghorn Decline

Explaining Pronghorn Decline: The Answer is Hidden in Plain Sight

Pronghorn is an iconic American native species and, the only large game animal in the United States which evolved on this continent.  In the days of the vast buffalo herds, pronghorn numbers possibly approached 50 million: they may have outnumbered bison!  In those days these animals were found from Saskatchewan to Mexico, and from Oregon into Baja California.

Circle Ranch - Sacaton

Science and Range Scientists

When we bought Circle Ranch in 1999 it had been continuously ranched since about 1881, using domestic livestock like horses, sheep, goats, and cattle.  Our intention was not to graze.  We had been taught by the range “experts” that if you love your land, you protect it from livestock; if you must run cattle, run

Burros and Bio-Diversity: The Rest of the Story

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has slated wild burros for eradication at Big Bend Ranch State Park, as part of a general program to remove all “exotics” from all state-owned land it manages in far-West Texas, under the belief that burros and several other species:(1) do not “belong” in our far-West Texas deserts since

TPWD Habitat Survey at Circle Ranch

In late fall of 2010 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducted a habitat survey at Circle Ranch, to see if our many cattle and other species including so called “exotics” were harming habitat through “competition”.  As confirmed by this report, TPWD biologists found the opposite to be true. It turns out that biodiversity and high

Legislation Reclassifying Elk as 'Exotic'

This declares an ’emergency’ need to reclassify, which avoids three readings and notice to the public. Reclassification was passed before word got out. Legislative declaration that elk are not native is scientifically meaningless, but this law is taken by the Department today as more-or-less mandating elk removals, which it does not.