We have a problem today, of those in Wild Horse Advocacy, and in particular on FaceBook, that spew facts that are simply untrue. I love it when I run across Marybeth Devlins’ writings a few years ago. This statistical situation has not changed, as you read further into her writings, and the current years reflect even lager populations of Deer, Tule El and Roosevelt Elk, as well as a moderately lower population of Apex Predators – very different than those statistics constantly given by those who hate, or are afraid of admitting a truth – Apex Predators and Prey must all exist on Public Lands, and within appropriate numbers – WHICH, ESTABLISHES A HEALTHY ECOLOGY!
Those who know nothing of Wildlife Management paradigms, established by science and research from those of us in the Field, simply do not grasp the ideology of sound and common-sense type of Wildlife Management, at all. And yet, these people want to Manage our Wild Horses, and of course, get paid by very lucrative government grants.
Marybeth’s writing will answer many of your questions, as she was straightening out a fellow who has many erroneous management paradigms, and ideas, that are simply anti-scientific (yet he wants to pretend he is a researcher, but many of us do not see that, at all, and has no idea about many ongoing situations in our natural environments), and his wildlife statistics are very wrong, on many different levels.
Aggressive narcissi and bias people are blind, so we see no surprise here. But they will attempt to lie to the general public, and for lucrative grant money made available by BLM . . . payoffs actually = hush money! Statistics and well documented links below, for Cougar and deer / Elk populations, among other pertinent information . . . Stop following those who know little to nothing about wilderness areas, and does not know what they do not know – and yet think they know everything. — John Cox Cascade Mtns. 2022
BLM has been perpetrating a hoax regarding the number of captive wild horses supposedly being kept in holding-corrals. Following a five-year investigation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation just issued a White Paper that exposed the fraud. Here is the link to that report and supporting documents.
Wild horses are natural fire-prevention agents. Our goal should be to keep wild horses on the range. To do that, we must stop the roundups, which are based on falsified herd-growth figures. If you’d like to free captive wild horses on your ranch to support the Fire-Brigade pilot-project, sale-eligible horses could be the answer. Free shipping to your site could also be negotiated — BLM has done it before.
In light of statistics obtained from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), the perceived decline in deer-herds you report seems to reflect a local issue. For the period 2007 through 2017, inclusive, here are the stats for California’s deer population:
503,977 = average number
484,750 = median number
532,621 = current number (2017)
California’s elk-herds appear to be making a come-back. According to DFW, reintroduction and conservation measures have produced significant population-growth in Tule elk:
1970 = 3 herds with 500 elk
2017 = 22 herds with 4,200 elk
The reasons for the previous decline in California’s elk were cited in a 2014 article: “Unregulated market hunting, competition with livestock, and the introduction of nonnative plant species all contributed to the decline of tule elk. What was more devastating, however, was the conversion of elk habitat to agricultural land.”
The harvest-report for last year’s hunt, shows that 76% of elk-tags were filled.
A few moose may have found their way to California, but your state is not known for having herds. Neither is Oregon, which currently estimates a population of maybe 50 animals, due to moose that “wandered in” from other areas. According to National Geographic, parasites are contributing to a decline. However, Mooseworld.com reports an estimated population of 795,000 to 985,000 moose in North America.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is certainly of concern for our deer species. Concentrations of cervids are likely to increase disease-transmission. Predators are essential in taking out sick animals. I am confident that few of the scientists with whom you consulted would favor the culling of predators.
Mountain lions and coyotes are, as you have witnessed, efficient at curbing wild-horse population-growth. According to DFW, California’s estimated mountain-lion population is 4,000 to 6,000 — not 8,000.
DFW cites the importance of coyotes to the ecosystem, and blames human carelessness for causing coyotes to be killed needlessly.
“Wild animals are in trouble, and the problem is people who are careless with food and garbage. Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans. If coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may cause property damage. They might threaten human safety. They might be killed. ”
Mountain lions and coyotes are persecuted mercilessly. In 2013, Wildlife Services, a secretive agency that serves agricultural and hunting interests, killed 4,000,000 animals, including 345 mountain lions and well over 70,000 coyotes.
In 2015, Wildlife Services killed 3,200,000 animals, including 68,905 coyotes. This annual $100 million war on wildlife must stop.
Conservation Researcher Dr. Corey Bradshaw emphasizes “… just how important predators are for healthy ecosystems. Long story short — if your predators are not doing well, chances are the rest of the ecosystem is performing poorly.”
So, it’s good news that predators are thriving in California. It indicates that the ecosystem is performing well. When humans choose to live in mountain-lion habitat, they must accept the risks. The alternative is to move to the city.