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View Diary: Can our species escape destruction? (23 comments)

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  •  I've lived (2+ / 0-)
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    cany, don mikulecky

    on my little riparian acreage for over 30 years, and the changes have been alarming. My winter and summer birdcounts have plummeted to near 10% of what they used to be. The birds who are here are very quiet--they sing far less during breeding season and stop altogether until fall migration begins. The white tail deer population is succumbing to Chronic Wasting Disease and the remaining herd is being trophy hunted to extinction. My largest bucks lived to be over 8 years old and wore 10 points in old age. The antler beams were usually at least 2 1/2 inches in circumference. Now the bucks may only make it past their third springs before they are hung on some idiot's wall and the antlers might be 2 inches around. Most years the bucks are taken before they can successfully breed, and if twins are even conceived they often both die before the summer is out. With the loss of bith mule and white tail populations, pronghorns are moving in to take their place in the alfalfa pastures. Years ago pronghorns could not jump fences--I have witnessed it many times recently. When I was a kid I lived in a city with no Russian olive trees. Now they have invaded hundreds of miles of riverside, crowding out native species and encouraging another invader, the eastern grey squirrel, to follow it.

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