Monday, September 25th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, September 25th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Russ Mason

Commentary: Exploring the connection between invasives and climate change

Here are two largely accepted premises.
• First, most conservationists and environmentalists will agree that climate change is a threat to fish, wildlife, and habitat.
• Second, most conservationists and environmentalists will agree that invasive species are a problem for fish, wildlife, and habitat (albeit not as existential as extreme heat, drought, severe storms, or ocean/lake/reservoir/river and stream warming).
Perhaps under-appreciated is that invasive species are, in large measure, a biotic manifestation of the changing precipitation and warming.

User-pay funding no longer a sustainable revenue source for conservation

In private business, milking the revenue streams of successful products to support new ones that generate no income is a recipe for disaster, even when the “giveaways” are popular.
Unless the new products begin generating revenue, decapitalization of successful products inevitably erodes their quality. Inevitably, customer complaints and defections increase and sales drop. Consider Tesla, Twitter, and “X.” Luckily for conservation and the public, government isn’t a private business. Historically, game and non-game species have flourished more or less on the consumptive community’s dime. But that doesn’t mean that the model is endlessly sustainable.

Is a field test for CWD coming soon?

Some are “definitive” tests. Others are not; these merely “fail to detect” the presence of disease. At least one assay has the potential to detect prions in environmental samples.

Appealing to the better angles of our nature

Genetically speaking, humans have roughly 10,000 differences from other mammals – mostly related to brain development. This might sound like a lot, but the human genome is about 3 billion base pairs, so we’re only 0.003% different from other members of Class Mammalia. 
For this reason, it shouldn’t be surprising that chimps and humans are 99% alike, house cats and humans are 90% alike, mice and humans are 85% alike, and cattle and humans are 80% alike. 

Commentary: eDNA technologies are worth exploring in fish and wildlife management

Fish and wildlife conservation depends on management to maintain healthy and resilient habitats and species.
Management, in turn, depends on cost-effective surveillance. While this sounds simple enough, “cost-effective” and “surveillance” are oxymorons for most of contemporary conservation.

Changing seasonal temperatures are affecting game and fish

Systematic changes to average seasonal temperatures and precipitation are already affecting Midwest fish and wildlife populations. Unfortunately, more dramatic change is on the way.
Because future natural resources managers will no longer be able to use past conditions to predict the future, fish and wildlife scientists and Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency (MAFWA) are exploring what can be done using a resist-accept-direct (RAD) framework.

International symposium sheds light on CWD findings

In early June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Geological Survey sponsored the 4th International Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium in Denver, Colo. Presentations by leading prion scientists, geneticists, human dimensions specialists, and agency managers focused on the biological, ecological, and sociological barriers to effective control.
Russ Mason attended the conference, and here are a few key learnings and takeaways that he found most intriguing.

Is the popularity of game meat declining?

Arguably, one of the reasons that hunting is so deeply embedded in American culture is that, once upon a time, everyone ate wildlife and most people hunted as a matter of course. Writers from Mark Twain to Ernest Hemingway reported that hunted species were mainstays and highlights of American cuisine. But times change.

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