Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

Happy New Year, Bambi

January 4, 2014

Happy New Year, Bambi

2014 sees the resumption of the white tailed deer hunt in DC’s Rock Creek Park. National Park Service sharpshooters are blasting the graceful critters again as part of a 15-year deer management plan. When NPS started the cull in 2012 there were 320 deer in the urban park, 77 deer per square mile. The target density NPS is shooting for: 15 to 20 deer per square mile. To provide a partially happy ending to this tale, venison harvested by the program is donated to programs for the homeless.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-iqm

Image (“Rock Creek Deer Hunt, after Atelier de Walt Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Rock Creek Park: 20 Deer Down, 130 to Go.

April 2, 2013

Rock Creek Park: 20 Deer Down, 130 to Go.

Despite protests by concerned DC citizens, sharpshooters have bagged 20 deer in Rock Creek Park, which runs though the middle of the Nation’s Capital. The National Park Service is reducing whitetail over-population in the urban outdoors, and hopes to harvest a total of 150 critters by the end of a 3-year deer-reduction period. Resulting venison is donated to local food banks and shelters.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-goP

Image (“Rock Creek Deer Hunt, after Atelier de Walt Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bye-Bye Bambi: The Hunt Is On In Rock Creek Park.

March 27, 2013

Bye-Bye Bambi: The Hunt Is On In Rock Creek Park.

In the dead of night, while half the city is out of town for Easter Week, the National Park Service is implementing its ruthless slaughter of helpless, cute, fuzzy deer whitetail reduction plan in Rock Creek Park.

More:

“‘Deer Reduction Operations’ to Begin Tonight in Rock Creek Park,” Martin Austermuhle, DCist

“Sharpshooters to begin killing deer in Rock Creek Park for National Park Service,” AP via Washington Post

“Rock Creek Park Deer Slaughter Starts Tonight,” Will Sommer, Washington City Paper blog.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gmJ

Image (“Bye-Bye Bambi, after Atelier de Walt Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On

March 18, 2013

Rock Creek Park: The Hunt Is On
Rock Creek Park runs right through the middle of Washington DC, and it has a problem. The skinny ribbon of National Parkland is infested with deer, five times more than the 1,750 acres can support. The deer wander onto Rock Creek Parkway where commuting motorists mince them into Bambi-burgers. They cause international incidents by browsing backyards on Embassy Row and visit the grounds of the Vice President’s residence for wrestling matches with the Secret Service.

The National Park Service issued shoot-to-kill orders, but five DC residents went to court to stop the hunt. A judge just threw out their lawsuit so the hunt is back on. The NPS plans to donate harvested venison to area homeless shelters.

UPDATE:

“Rock Creek Park Deer Killing for Me, Not for Thee,” Will Sommer, Washington CityPaper blog

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Killer Kittycats

February 4, 2013

Killer Kittycats

Domestic cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds a year, according to a study led by a Smithsonian biologist. That’s about 15 percent of the bird population. They kill about half as many mice, voles and other small mammals annually. Not everyone is confident about these numbers, however, and it’s unclear how many of these killer cats are actually feral and aren’t anyone’s pets.

Clearly, our sweet house kitties are natural-born hunters, “snakes with fur.”  No need to kill them off, but letting pet pussycats roam outdoors is another matter. There are health reasons to keep cats indoors; now there are ecological ones, too.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-fNC

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bambi Harvest in Rock Creek Park

January 12, 2012

Bambi Harvest in Rock Creek Park

In 30 days, trained sharp-shooters will spend their nights in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. They’ll be blasting away at the urban park’s resident white-tailed deer. Rock Creek’s deer population is about 1900, 385 per square mile. The National Park Service hopes to cull half the critters.

More:

“Final White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for Rock Creek Park,” National Park Service

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Birth Control Makes Deer Less Horny

September 1, 2011

Birth Control Makes Deer Less Horny

“A birth control injection for deer puts them completely out of the mood to mate for up to five years without a booster. GonaCon, as the birth control is called, even eliminates dangerous and destructive courtship behaviors responsible for the autumn increase in collisions between cars and deer.

 The birth control shot is actually a vaccine that causes the deer to produce antibodies against a key hormone, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which triggers production of sex hormones. GnRH kicks in when days get shorter and triggers many animals from northern latitudes to get feisty for the mating season.”

“Deer Birth Control Could Prevent Collisions,” Tim Wall, DiscoveryNews

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-b1C

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Disposable. Sustainable. Plastic Bottles of Coke.

July 29, 2011

Disposable. Sustainable. Plastic Bottles of Coke.

Q:  What’s full of empty calories, packed in disposable plastic, saves energy, helps Earth’s ecology, and improves the lives of the world’s poor?

A. Coca-Cola in 1.5 liter plastic bottles.

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Rhino Horn

May 8, 2011

Rhino Horn

Everyone knows that rhinoceros horn is used as an aphrodisiac in Chinese medicine. There’s just one thing: everybody’s wrong.

“Rhino horn has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since at least 200 BC and never as an aphrodisiac. It is commonly prescribed as a cardiotonic or antipyretic (relieves fever). The horn from Asian rhino species are believed to be more potent than the African. (The other big black-market use of rhino horn is for the traditional decorative dagger handle or jambiyyas in the Middle East).

The use of rhino horn as an aphrodisiac is not noted in any TCM text. Please, the reality is that most wildlife poaching in Asia is not undertaken for the purposes of alleviating sexual dysfunction.”

 — “Old Myths Never Die: Rhino Horn,” Brendan Moyle, via Sciblogs (link added).

Still, that’s probably little comfort to the rhinos.

Related: “Rhino Horn Use: Fact vs. Fiction, PBS Nature

Image: Rhinoceros, by Albrecht Dürer. Download a copy here.

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Earth Day Echoes

April 22, 2011

Earth Day Echoes

April 22nd  has been celebrated as Earth Day since 1970. A holiday that raises humankind’s awareness of our responsibility for the natural health of our planet. Sounds good, right?

Not in some ways:

“The 15 Corniest Pro-Environmental Songs,” Stacey Anderson, Rolling Stone

 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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