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Old 08-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #1
Undertoad
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August 21, 2015: The gray wolf returns to California

The gray wolf is not an endangered species, globally speaking; there are a lot of them, there generally always has been a lot of them, all over the world. But they don't actually get along with humans like their canus family member Dog does.

So once humanity came on the scene, we reduced their number by 2/3rds. By the 1950s there were none left in western Europe, none in Mexico and almost none in the US. Typically there were actual government programs to kill the beasts and they can tell you the exact year the last wolf was killed in various countries.

But humanity has come around, and now the government programs protect the wolves, and they are coming back.

This May and again in July, folks in northern California noticed something on a trail camera. Hey, they said, was that a wolf?



So officials did what officials do, they collected some turds and measured some tracks, and said yeah maybe this is a gray wolf.

But they also put out a bunch more cameras, and last week...



A mating pair and five cubs.



The state of California now has gray wolves.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
CDFW has designated this group (comprised of two adults and five pups) the Shasta Pack.
A Shasta 7-Pack?
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Old 08-21-2015, 04:58 PM   #3
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Sure, it's all fun and games until the full moon.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:01 PM   #4
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They might be spawn of Olav.

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Old 08-22-2015, 08:58 AM   #5
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Both items supper cool.
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Old 08-22-2015, 09:01 AM   #6
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If there's just one fact I could beat into the skulls of the inevitable "kill it before we can't hunt any more deer!!" crowd, it would be easy to choose. Coyotes, which den in vacant subdivision houses in places like Glendale and whose urban diet includes up to 50% house cats and small dogs like Miley Cyrus's little ankle shark, DO NOT like wolves and will move out of a wolf-impacted area if they can. If not, they tend to be under more stress and less likely to have a damaging impact on human interests.

Fun little hunting-related fact I found out about Montana not long ago: there's a fella here who's been checking out and documenting road-kill deer for a lot of years. He's up to over 60% of young road-kill bucks showing obvious physical defects, many of them related to dental malformations and failure of testes to drop even in mature males. I've been watching nature documentaries since Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and the Jacques Cousteau specials were hot news, and reading books about natural history almost as long. Predation doesn't cause increasingly prevalent dental, jaw, and gonad deformities, inbreeding and poor nutrition do. All those "wolves eetz EVERYTING I wanna shoot" hunters, in an ideal world, could be taught that wolves improve the overall health of the forest ecosystems, while coyotes are a legitimate danger to small pets and there are places with serious concerns about small children.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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On the East Coast, we could use some Wolves, as we're overrun with White Tailed Deer. It's not unusual to see a dozen in my yard, and the road kill numbers are astronomical. Something like 60,000 a year on I-80 alone, and even in Philly proper they're a problem.
Coyotes have driven out a lot of the foxes, but I'm not so sure wolves are the solution for that.
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Old 08-22-2015, 03:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Something like 60,000 a year on I-80 alone...
That's over 164 deer per day.

On one highway.

In 1991 (that's a hard thing to find numbers for) PA only had 42,651 road killed deer statewide. (Source) I know that number has probably gone up, but, dayum!

Was that an actual number you heard, or did ya just grab that one out of the air?
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Old 08-22-2015, 05:50 PM   #9
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For the state it's 315 per day.
I had posted it in a thread in the Cellar, along with the source, but I don't know where that was. I-80 is 313 miles of deer habitat with a million vehicle a year, 30% of them 18 wheelers. It goes through woods where the undergrowth is sparse and where there is undergrowth it's mainly shit tasting Laurel and evergreens. So the cornucopia of roadside/median vegetation, plus tons road salt, are irresistible.
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Quote:
In the United States, the state with the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions is Pennsylvania, with an estimated 115,000 collisions in 2013 causing $400 million in damage.[6] West Virginia is the state with the highest risk that a motorist will hit a deer while driving.[7]
That footnote 6 at Wiki is
Quote:
Mid-October through mid-December is the peak season for deer vs. vehicle collisions, and Pennsylvania is one of the nation's most active battlefields. State Farm insurance projects that about 115,000 collisions occurred in Pennsylvania in the year that ended June 30, 2013, and the average damage claim for that period was just over $3,400.

That works out to nearly $400 million in damage wreaked in the state by wayward deer, and that doesn't count the value of the gardens they devour before roaming onto the roads.

Pennsylvania is the undisputed leader in the number of deer-vehicle crashes, with Michigan a distant second at 77,000, according to State Farm. But West Virginia remained the state where a typical motorist stood the greatest chance of taking a deer in the headlights -- a 1 in 41 chance. Pennsylvania was fifth, with a 1 in 77 chance.
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Old 08-22-2015, 06:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
I-80 is 313 miles of deer habitat with a million vehicle a year, 30% of them 18 wheelers.
It goes through woods where the undergrowth is sparse and where
there is undergrowth it's mainly shit tasting Laurel and evergreens.
So the cornucopia of roadside/median vegetation, plus tons road salt, are irresistible.
That's not the reason for so many deer/car mashups... it's the DOT.



.
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Old 08-22-2015, 08:19 PM   #11
xoxoxoBruce
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Yeah I know, put the sign some where else.

I read recently the deer in the headlights phenomenon may be caused by the deer's eyes seeing a different color spectrum that us. They don't see red/orange, but can see ultraviolet, so our headlights look muted gray, screwing up their depth perception even if they don't get blinded by a direct beam. Don't know if it's true but it's an interesting theory.
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Old 08-23-2015, 01:04 AM   #12
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Do you know what happen when you introduce the Gray Wolf into an area where it becomes the apex predator?
It's gets the greenie tree huggers all fired up and they start making the politicians clean up the environment.
That results in global cooling and a new ice age.
Before you know it, Frank Reade is fighting for survival.
Is that what you want?

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Old 08-23-2015, 12:54 PM   #13
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How many flavors of awesome is that?!!
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:13 PM   #14
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I have to give her credit for delivering her lines flawlessly. She sounded exactly like someone who believed that the DOT controls the migration patterns of the deer population.

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Old 08-25-2015, 03:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
For the state it's 315 per day...
Man, that's a lot. I mean, I knew PA had a pretty bad problem with it, but, I guess, I just never thought it out in terms of numbers. Dayum. It's still hard to get my head around those numbers.
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