Category: INVASION BIOLOGY

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Shy Elk and Bold Birds Become Partners in the Wilderness

Complex relationships between species such as birds and grazers are common, but often unrecognized by over-simplified wildlife management theories. As a result, wildlife managers routinely attack species whose interdependence we do not understand. For example,

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Wild Burros Providing Water for Wildlife

In far-West Texas, a coalition of government agencies, agricultural universities and conservation organizations has decided that wild burros on public lands should be eradicated. The coalition based its decision on the belief that what the burros

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Mountain Lions of Far-West Texas

Much of what we used to ‘know’ about mountain lions turns out to be wrong, starting with the belief they are a threat to livestock or humans. Lions –  and all other predators –  are

Book Review: ‘Inheritors of the Earth’ by Chris D. Thomas

Here is better way of thinking about so-called invasive species. Ask yourself: How many invasive species have ever been eliminated? How much damage have we done to native plants, animals and our finances trying unsuccessfully

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Wolves’ Return to Oregon Brings Conflict and Opportunity

Wolves help wildlife and habitat but they also – historically with good cause – terrify many people. Mexican Wolves, the native wolf of far-West Texas, is a small and comparatively harmless relative of the larger

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This Winter’s Hot Fashion: Parkas Stuffed With Vermont Weeds

Long attacked with poisons as a noxious invasive, milkweed turns out to be useful. In addition to its value as an organic insulator in clothes, milkweed is essential to the embattled Monarch butterfly and other

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A South African Solution to Texas’ Feral Hog Problem

This story of a start-up hog farm in South Africa points to how Texas can address its wild pig ‘problem’. Hogs can improve soil by by rooting for food, trampling, eating plants, tilling in seeds

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Successful Pronghorn Transplants Require Ecosystem Health

Pronghorn cannot be restored by themselves. Healthy grasslands need periodic grazing by keystone species like bison or cattle, lots of prey and lots of predators. Removing any of these components will unwind the system. Animals,

Ranchers Deploy Donkeys Against Dingoes in Australia

In yet another example of species that have the same diet being complementary not competitive, burros and horses (equids) will defend other species such as sheep against predators. If we think outside the box, perhaps

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Texas Elk and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model

For 150-years American conservationists have followed the the North American Wildlife Conservation Model. It has been beneficial for waterfowl and iconic big game species across the continent with the exception of elk in far-West Texas.