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(Fox News)   Arizona conservationists spend $150,000 to airlift 31 bighorn sheep onto new reservation with thriving mountain lion population. Guess what happens   ( divider line
    More: Dumbass, Fish Department, western U.S., wildlife officials, Center for Biological Diversity, conservation, exact science  
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9228 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2014 at 12:37 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-03-19 12:58:18 AM  
4 votes:
I mean, without reading the article, if it's an attempt to get a population going with some hope that they'll spread, $150k is a small amount of money to spend.

If there's a 10% chance of it working, and you do this 10 times, maybe you reintroduce an animal into an area for $1.5m.

A bunch of those are going to fail, and then someone can be all "you wasted money doing science!"

Again, without reading the article.  This could also just be some dumb guy saying "hey I want sheep here."
2014-03-19 03:24:40 AM  
2 votes:

whidbey: So many keyboard conservation experts here.


Doesn't that say something?

I'm sure it's entirely true.

"Let's put some bighorn sheep into an area where they belong. Oh, predators? Well, the predators are where THEY belong already, the predators will eat the sheep like they're supposed to, it will be perfect!"

You have no idea how many soft-hearted and soft-headed animal rights activists I know--and know well--who would think EXACTLY like this; and who would have had hissy fits (to say the least) about culling the mountain lion population before introducing those 31 sheep to make sure the rest of the ecosystem survived.

31 sheep, assuming, say three breeding pairs of lions, is nothing more than a weekend snack.
2014-03-19 08:49:54 AM  
1 vote:

fozziewazzi: Article is missing info. Why is the cougar population in this area so robust? What were they feeding on before the easy meat became available.

Also, did the introduced sheep have any experience with cougars, or predators in general?

I'd like to think the conservationists know what they're doing, but if they dropped 30 something naïve sheep into an area filled with cougars that need to chase down fast and skittish deer for lunch...what did they think was going to happen?

Any time you move an animal into an unfamiliar area, they are going to be extremely vulnerable until they become familiar with their new "home." Many times they return to their old territory, or die trying. Unless you're trying to naturally select for a lot of traits that are otherwise strongly selected against, moving wild animals around as if similar environments are fully interchangeable will kill a lot more animals than you save.

/and a lot of idiots try to pretend things don't work like that
//because they want to believe they can do no harm
///Because They Care
2014-03-19 05:59:46 AM  
1 vote:
Eh, Bighorns are naturally somewhat more mobile, travel in larger groups, and in a pinch have the whole horn/charge thing.  Plus, they're native to North America and existed in areas with cougar populations for quite a while.

If we get the population balance right they should be fine.  May also need to make sure they have mountains 'n shiat to hide in and so on.

// Cats typically have fairly large ranges, comparatively, so they may not be able to control the entire area the cougars inhabit.
2014-03-19 03:14:22 AM  
1 vote:

untaken_name: Maybe they weren't sheep conservationists. Maybe they were mountain lion conservationists. Ever think of that?

Ooh. I see what ewe did there...
2014-03-19 02:25:09 AM  
1 vote:
Conservationists are farking CLUELESS when it comes to how nature actually works!
2014-03-19 01:31:30 AM  
1 vote:

Juc: if they want a stable sustainable population I woulda figured that you'd have needed more if you're trying to repopulate a prey animal at least.

That is what I was think. 31 sheep do not a useful population make.  Seriously did no one study the rate of predation in flock where cougars were native?
2014-03-19 01:22:36 AM  
1 vote:
I dunno, but I'll be goddamned if I'm going to lick Rupert Murdoch taint to find out.
2014-03-19 01:14:41 AM  
1 vote:
Killing mountain lions to protect the sheep is a dumb idea, that screws with the sustainability of the mountain lion population. Shouldn't they just expect some of the sheep to die? I thought that was how things worked when you were trying to reintroduce a population.
2014-03-19 01:01:36 AM  
1 vote:
They should be okay......I heard that the majority of cougars live in Scottsdale.
2014-03-19 12:41:58 AM  
1 vote:
You get happy mountain lions.

Wait, you mean they weren't supposed to eat all of them? Well, figure out a cheaper way to get them in, and plant cameras.
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