Multiple Causation of Deaths of Mule Deer—Look to causes other than Wolves! Blame for drop in game populations is generally focused on predators such as wolves and grizzlies but the situation is much more complex. This point has been proven time and again as I discuss in Chapter 2 and elsewhere in my Wildlife Politics book. There are many causes of mule deer death in Wyoming with weather-influenced starvation in winters being a major factor. Researchers in Wyoming have been studying mule deer fawn survival in Wyoming because “Fawn survival has been declining since the mid-1980s and no one knows why.” Wildlife managers have long focused on wolves as major causes of decline but there are multiple causes such as “climate change, habitat loss, and disease.” Indeed, one of the lead researchers, Kevin Montieth of the University of Wyoming, admitted that he “was surprised when the first year of the study revealed adenovirus had the greatest impact on fawn populations, not predators.” Feeding of deer can lead to adovirus which has led to a change in policy. Of course, unlike humans, if the prey of wolves declines, there are automatic correcting factors as their numbers are likely to decline too. Climate change can make for extreme conditions on weather which has much bigger impact on game than predators but is not a factor that politicians or “game departments” pay attention to. Check out the Wyofile article on Fawn survival & its multiple causes at: http://www.wyofile.com/column/devastated-deer-herd-offers-rare-research-opportunity/
Leave a Reply.
During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.