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Wildlife: Opinion - a Closer Look

By Sharon
February 23, 2012

It's that time again. Critters who live near you are making plans for midnight raids on your roses, early morning feasts involving your lettuce, and late afternoon snacks with your daffodils. It's that time again; trust me, they're making plans. It's a surprise party they'll have. You won't be getting an invitation.

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Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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Feb 23, 2012 5:31 PM CST
Dear Sharon, this is a true global problem and due to the Human population growing at such a rate many species of animals and other things critical to the food chain are extinct or soon to become extinct. People using their toothpaste, soaps or shampoo are not really worried that the palm oil that makes it has involved the slashing down of rainforests at a frightening rate. It once again comes down to the all glorious quest for £-$ and to those who strive for it. Not so long ago a cure to stop leukemia in the early stages was found from a jungle plant that was considered a weed, yet there are thousands of plants and cures in the massive ecosystem of a rainforest, a lot known by the local people who have tended these precious areas for thousands of years. These same rainforests harbor even unknown species of animals and some like Jaguars or Tigers are losing their land. Now the same people who have had their rainforests cut down and work for a pittance to plant and grow the palms that caused the demise of their land and a massive resource to science. I have been lucky to see Tigers in the wild but I fear my nieces will not as their numbers dwindle everyday and are now critical. Simply because their habitat has been destroyed and people farm domestic animals or cut the forests for oil plantations.. A hungry Tiger will of course take domestic animals and so are hunted and killed their carcasses sold to the Chinese who use them for so called medicine and their furs made into rug for a businessman somewhere. In a Documentary lately they caught an American top businessman who ordered two Gorilla hands to use as ashtrays and was caught by your customs when they were delivered to him and he had them on his desk!
However there are some animals that are so prevalent and damaging that they need to be controlled within reason like Rabbits for instance. Rabbits are not native to the UK only the blue or Arctic Hare, which is Rabbit family is.
Due to the vast numbers of them the native wildlife suffers and the farmers. The farmers have a number of choices on being to let the Rabbits have a percentage of the crop which they are not too keen to do. Hunt them and keep the numbers controlled as you will never get rid of them all, or if the numbers are observed to be too high the Ministry of Food and Fisheries come round without the farmer knowing and gas them and then sends a very expensive bill to the farmer. This is a total waste of good meat, to me is cruel and does not solve the problem for long as more Rabbits will move in.
Foxes are a non native pest and are the main vector for Rabies in the world, the most minute drop of Rabies virus will infect them and they will spread it like wildfire. Luckily we do not have Rabies in the UK, but in the rest of Europe it is so rife they tried dropping poisoned meat by helicopter to kill the Foxes. Yes it did kill a lot of them but it also killed a lot of the native wildlife as well so was stopped and they are now hunted.
Deer are a massive problem for us as they are everywhere and are now in most parts of London. This is due to the European Union politicians making a law that all Venison meat has to be meat inspected. How do you take and pay a meat inspector out with you hunting Deer? The result is a mess as the estates and the landowners used to cull the Deer by taking out the old and damaged thereby leaving a healthy and strong herd to breed.
Due to the financial demands on the estates and landowners this is not done anymore apart from meat for the house and to give it away as you cannot sell it. Three years ago in Scotland the Forestry Commission put up Deer fencing around some of their forests and it shocked everyone. For deer are as we know the second biggest destroyers of the environment after Humans but due to the fact the Deer could not get to the lower areas in the winter 175,000 red Deer died of starvation died due to the fencing. That is a total waste of good meat and is not the proper way to manage Deer as it leaves a void of the good animals to breed.
Grey Squirrels (tree rats), are not native here and due to them carrying para-pox virus have nearly wiped out our native Red Squirrels. Red Squirrels are totally vegetarian relying on pine nuts and Grey Squirrels eat birds eggs and meat if they can get it plus are twice the size of our native Squirrels. It is illegal to feed Grey squirrels here and you can hunt them at anytime as they are everywhere. American and Siberian mink are a mass problem as they are of course non native. They were let go from mink farms by the Animal Liberation front who did not realize the damage they would cause to the environment. Untold damage has and is being caused by them and not many rivers do not have them now. Mink are dangerous and many fisherman have been injured by them and it will not be long before a small child will be hurt by one, believe me.
We seem unable to understand nature and to get a balance as nature does plus so much has been what we call "Disneyfied". People get the "Bambi syndrome" and think of animals are cuddly, furry, cartoon things that are Human, they are not Human as most of them have more sense than a lot of people I know!
As I stated a lot of species need protection if it is not too late and in many cases it is. In other species they have to be controlled in a humane manner that benefits them and us! Even Rats which I do not like have a right to be controlled humanely.
N.D.A.G.W.H.M. (Winchester).
[Last edited by NEILMUIR1 - Feb 23, 2012 5:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Feb 23, 2012 5:56 PM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

No matter how one looks at it, what we see is disturbing. We all have non native species wandering around due to the carelessness of man, I think. The convenience of global travel brought them with it. It's a problem from many angles.

It's good to see your perspective, Neil. Thank you for sharing so much of it with us. It will take many people many years and much effort to make a difference.
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