Information on wildlife populations, invasive species, endangered species, and biodiversity is important to Environmental Agencies.Other than scientists there are four people that gather the best and most reliable information on wild life, Ornithologists (Ornithologists are Bird watchers), Photographers, Hunters, and Fishermen.
I will never know where people got the belief hunters and fishermen hate the animals they hunt or fish, but for those that believe this take it from an ex hunter and a fisherman, I don’t hate the animals I hunt and fish. And I do not intend to argue the morals and ethics of culling wild animals from a person that has never spent five minutes in the wilderness or a vegan, because to me plants are living things also.
Because of the loss of my eyesight, I am not safe hunting with a high powered rifle, so I traded my guns for a camera and I still hunt. I get to do what I love to do, just now if I make a mistake I lose pixels and electrons and no one, animals included gets hurt.
This photo taken on 29/05/2008 at 11:33 am location Mount Forest Ontario Canada 1 Km Est. of Sligo Rd Est. on Southgate 4 Rd. In it you can clearly identify 1 Snapping Turtle and a number of Eastern Painted Turtles. The down side stats not reported and no tissue samples
Step 1: Ornithologists (Bird Watchers) and Photographers
Ornithologists and photographers gather the same information as hunters, and can have very reliable information, but they are not required to share information or take samples. Ornithologists and Photographers are not required to give out information no matter how important that information is.
An Ornithologists may know where to photograph and record the calls of the Acadian Flycatcher, a bird listed as a spices at risk, with fewer than 40 breeding pairs. Or a photographer could know where he can photograph the Allegheny mountain dusky salamander. The Allegheny mountain dusky salamander is currently listed as Endangered under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 and Endangered under the federal Species at risk Act. In Canada, this species is known to occur only at one site in Quebec and in a small portion of the Niagara Gorge in Ontario.
Environmental Agencies need people to report verifiable sightings so they know where to setup a protected habitat, protecting biodiversity, health, and populations of species at risk.
Ornithologists and photographers my not share information for these reasons and more, it could be to protect a person’s privacy or it could be so the EPA won’t stop them from putting in that pool they always wanted.
They could keep information to themselves to protect the animals from endangered species collectors, or so they are the only one that knows where to photograph the Allegheny mountain dusky salamander.
Their reasons are not always honorable.
Step 2: Hunters and Fishermen
In the questionnaire hunters fill out are questions on numbers, times of day, places, number of days, and which days of the hunt, direction of travel, and If they harvested game? Many different hunting seasons Ruffed Grouse Deer and Rabbit as an example coincide. The questionnaire can include other species you were not hunting like Wild Turkey.
Campers, hikers, photographers, and ornithologists are not required to do the same.
These two photos demonstrate the reliability of information the first photo 1 250 lb. Buck White Tailed Deer approximately 3 to 4 years old. All stats reported with tissue samples.
The second photo Chinook salmon harvested 12/09/1985 8:00 am weigh in, 28.88 lbs., 42.5 inches. All stats reported with tissue samples.
Step 3: Invasive Species
But in the case of Spotted Rusty Crayfish and the Round Goby I couldn’t see how a creature that feeds the game fish as a problem. Remember the tissue samples in step 2 Hunters and Fishermen, well apparently man, which is we pollute the lake, but instead of the pollutants running down river and polluting the ocean the Zebra Mussels clean the lake by eating the pollutants, the Round Goby eat the Zebra Mussel, and the game fish eat the Round Goby thus polluting the game fish. Now my first thought, STOP POLLUTING THE LAKE, wasn’t good enough or wouldn’t work.
Now as a fisherman I am required to kill an invasive species when I catch one but I wanted to see for myself what the Spotted Rusty Crayfish were doing, so I captured some live crayfish, indigenous and spotted. I placed them in a fish tank with Brown Bullhead Catfish I picked a couple large enough to eat the Spotted Rusty Crayfish in the tank and some minnows. The minnows are the same fish in my Instructable Fresh Trout Breakfast, the Common Creek Chub they can be identified by the black stripe on their sides, and the Common Shiner these get up to six inches in the rivers around my home. These fish have a unique way of laying their eggs, they have sex and the female then deposits the eggs in fresh water mussels seen behind the minnows in the photo.
Now crayfish are a funny critter they cannot tell a boy crayfish from a girl crayfish so they run about fornicating with everyone they meet. This means they crossbreed with indigenous crayfish making a stronger and more aggressive hybrid.
This hybrid is so aggressive when confronted by a predator like the catfish they chase off the catfish; in fact they chase the cat fish out of their hiding places and homes. Luckily this tactic didn’t work on my pet Snapping Turtle Qubert he likes his crawdad fresh, out for a walk and to sunbathe on my lawn in this photo.
Step 4: Environmental Agencies
An Environmental Agency can spend money they don’t have basically doing a head count, or they can have other people do it for them at minimal expense. They need our help.
There are three things environmental agencies need in order to protect the wilderness.
- Species, photos and specimens for identification.
- Numbers and location, for population estimates.
- And when possible tissue samples, to determine biodiversity and health of populations.
Remember Birds molt and feathers count as tissue samples.
The Canada goose was almost wiped out by over hunting loss of habitat and the use of pesticides like DDT. Once they numbered in just a few thousand today they number in the millions these birds almost went the way of the Dodo bird until conservation came along and everyone worked together hunters included.