Tag: “Invasion Biology”

wolves_in_texas

Are Wolves the Pronghorn’s Best Friend?

Let’s look for a holistic solution to pronghorn decline in far-West Texas. As discussed in the article below, pronghorn fawn survival triples when wolves are present because wolves control the coyotes which otherwise kill the pronghorn fawns. Cattle removals, predator removals and so-called invasive species removals have drastically altered the wild population equation, throwing the system

Desert Mule Deer “Management”: Does Culling Low-Point Desert Mule Deer Bucks Help or Harm the Herd and Its Genetics?

Culling Mule Deer – or whitetail – is scientifically unjustifiable, and does not improve herd genetics. Note: This post originally appeared on this blog in November 2014 Approach #1: Remove Cull Bucks to Improve Herd Genetics …Jerad Wayne Zachary, Deer Guide Dear Mr. Gill, I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to throw in

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California Condor Takes Flight in Wild After Near Extinction

The condor “once patrolled the sky from Mexico to British Columbia,” including far-West Texas. Perhaps someday soon they will again. While the majestic sight of a condor in flight makes it obvious why we should support national efforts to save endangered species, it is equally important to save less charismatic species because the web of

Richard Teague et al. on Benefits of Planned Grazing

Here is peer reviewed, hard science from Texas A&M on the topic of holistic planned grazing. This paper by Texas A&M range scientists Richard Teague, Fred Provenza et al. studied the benefits of concentrated, rapidly moving cattle herds on rangeland health. Their peer-reviewed findings contradicted the earlier conclusions of other Texas A&M researchers David Briske

Rare Big Bend Grass Added to Federal Endangered Species List

Most agencies, universities and conservationists continue to blame cattle grazing for grassland decline. The biodiversity loss described in this article is real but the blame is misplaced. The real cause of grassland decline is lack of animal impact from periodic grazing of bison or cattle and abundant wild species. The finely balanced system also requires

Ranches for Free: Birdwell Creek – Planned Grazing

  Here is a Texas example of high density planned grazing, which means the owners greatly increased cattle numbers and animal density, improving habitat and forage production. The increase in productivity per acre is like getting a ranch (or two) for free. These results directly contradict the agency-university biases against cattle in general and holistic

Legislation Reclassifying Elk as ‘Exotic’

Here is the legislation that changed Texas’ native elk from treasured, protected game animals to vermin that are shot on sight at all state-managed lands in far-West Texas. The legislative declaration that elk are not native is scientifically incorrect and meaningless. This legislation was introduced under the normal “radar,” declaring an “emergency,” thereby avoiding the

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Iowa State Fair Cow and Boy Taking Nap Wins the Internet After Photo Goes Viral

This touching photo evokes the ancient connection between humans and livestock. Sadly, modern industrial agriculture – including much dairy and meat production – breaks this connection and increasingly disregards humane animal husbandry.

drought_california

To Fight Climate Change, Heal the Ground

Soil health and soil fertility should be the goal of every farmer and rancher. Imagine the changes in habitat and wildlife practices if every action and every inaction – such as using fertilizers and pesticides, or removing animals – were tested according to how that action would affect soil health and fertility. 

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Gone With the Wind – Russian Thistle

Thistle is a great rescue plant for desertified ranges. Quail love thistle seeds and the bugs it hosts, and many wild and domestic animals use it when it is young and tender.